Richard Leplastrier: Framing the View

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Virtual Cinema Thu, Nov 19 5:00 PM - Thu, Dec 3 11:59 PM
Introduction TBA
Q&A after the film with: Director Anna Carter
Film Info
Run Time:80 min
Release Year:2020
Premier:USA and Canada
Production Country:Australia
Original Langauge:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Anna Cater



Richard Leplastrier is regarded as one of Australia’s finest architects, yet he’s anything but a household name. Shunning the limelight, he tucks himself away in his one-room home in a remote estuary north of Sydney — reachable only by boat. Leplastrier is the architect’s architect, refusing to become a ‘starchitect’. And while he designs beautifully crafted houses for his clients, his own lifestyle is closer to camping.

This documentary follows the very private but charismatic Leplastrier as he designs the Blackheath house that epitomizes what he has learned over 50 years and the influence of his mentors, namely the Danish architect Jorn Utzon (Sydney Opera House), the Australian artist Lloyd Rees and the Japanese professor Masuda Tomoya.


Anna Cater


ANNA CATER (Director/Writer/Co-Producer) credits include OUTSOURCED! (made for PBS Wide Angle and SBS), which won a Cine Golden Eagle Award, a Silver Screen Award (US International Film and Video Festival Awards - Documentary), 1st Place Outstanding Broadcast story on South Asia (South Asian Journalists Association Awards) Highly Commended in the Commonwealth Broadcasting Awards. Anna also co-directed Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle, the highest rating documentary on the ABC in 2010, and winner of Best TV Show Population Institute’s Global Media Awards for Excellence in Reporting. Her other credits include the two-part series Tick F*cking Tock (ABC 2018); Frank Hurley – the Man Who Made History (BBC, ABC, Arte, ZDF, History Channel); Honeybee Blues. (SBS, Nat Geo); and the feature film Rites of Passage (ABC).


Directors Statement
When I asked Richard Leplastrier if I could make a documentary about him 20 years ago, I said I wanted to film him designing and building a house. This was way before Grand Designs had graced our screens. However, I didn’t realize at the time how much Richard closely guards the privacy of his clients. He suggested that since he had young children (Richard was 54 when he had his first child and 61 when he had his third one), perhaps I could film him for the rest of his life to create a legacy for them. A couple of years later, I got a phone call from Richard out of the blue, saying that clients in the Blue Mountains had agreed to be filmed. Over the next two years, I attended nearly all of Richard’s site visits to the house in Blackheath, filming as he created the design as he went along. At the outset, I also began filming Richard’s family life at his home in Lovett Bay. His three children grew up in front of my camera. When I first began filming, they were 8, 12, and 15 years old. By the time I finished, they were 20, 24, and 27.
The benefit of filming with Richard over a long time assisted in his generosity in making the film. We made visits to Kyoto, the Sydney Opera House at dawn, and an exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW to record the influence of Richard’s three significant mentors. I made him tack back and forth for hours while we filmed him sailing on his 80th birthday, resulting in him hardly being able to walk the next day. All the people I interviewed for the film are close friends of Richard’s – whether they are a client, a colleague, or an academic. It soon became evident that everyone in Richard’s orbit becomes part of his bigger family, sharing his passion for site-responsive architecture.


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