The Menkoff Method is part spy movie, part anime, part office comedy – and all heart. The one-of-a-kind Australian film hits Luna Palace this Thursday, July 20 for one night only and it’s not one to be missed.
The Menkoff Method tells the tale of David Cork (Lachlan Woods), a lowly data processor slaving away in the Data Processing Centre cubicle wasteland of Endo Bank. His life is turned upside-down when a sinister new Human Resources manager arrives and takes control over his workplace. The mysterious Russian, Max Menkoff (Noah Taylor), has big plans to turn the failing bank around – and no worker is safe from his “Method!”
Screenwriter Zac Gillam says “It’s really different for an Aussie film in the way it kicks loose of reality and embraces genre – it’s a really knowing film, the tongue is firmly in the cheek and it’s a heap of fun. It also has a lot to say about the drudgery of modern office work, and dehumanisation that goes with corporate culture – but it never gets heavy. It’s a real hoot.”
“It’s kind of weird that Australia is one of the most urbanised countries on earth, yet a lot of our cinema focuses on the outback experience. Getting up in the morning and commuting into a city based office job is not a uniquely Australian experience – but it’s certainly a very common one! It totally relates to the way we actually live, yet never seem to talk about. I find that weird – so we made a movie about it.”
Gillam also talks about how the film was enhanced by having the star quality of Noah Taylor on board. “Noah was brilliant. Max Menkoff is a totally over the top cartoon villain, and he really threw himself into it. He took advice on his accent from cast member Olga Makeeva – who’s originally from Moscow. Noah had a few weeks break in filming on Game Of Thrones at the time, so it was pretty cool that he could shoot back to Melbourne and make this weird little Aussie indie, before heading back to the mega budget HBO gig!”
Getting the film to play in Gillam’s hometown was quite a challenge but definitely one he felt was worth the wait. “We got a short release on the east coast last December, through Palace Films – but that only encompassed Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. As a Perth boy I was gutted that we didn’t play there, so it’s great that we have the opportunity now through Fan Force. I think it’s a fantastic platform for indie Aussie cinema – which always has a hard time getting onto screens. We had to sell 93 tickets for the screening to go ahead and we’re past that now, so that was a buzz. But it’s a big cinema and given this will be the only showing we have in Perth it would be great to get as big a crowd there as possible! I’m really stoked that we’re getting a showing in Perth – it felt like unfinished business to me.”