Three short films by three directors given a flexible creative brief to work with, The Fourth Dimension starts off quite well but is let down by a final tale that never involves the viewer or holds any interest.
The first part of the movie, “Lotus Community Workshop” is actually the first thing I’ve seen from director Harmony Korine and it’s very offbeat and funny – Val Kilmer plays a version of Val Kilmer, he now goes around being pretty calm and giving motivational speeches to people that include mantras off the top of his head such as “velvet killed Elvis”. Then Alexey Fedorchenko comes along with his tale, “Chronoeye”, a nice bit of sci-fi involving a man who invents a machine that can look into the past. He keeps trying and trying to make it look into the future, all the while missing out on a chance to enjoy the present. Then there is the last tale, “Fawns”, a hugely disappointing and pointless piece from Jan Kwiecinski. It’s all about a group of young people who wander round an abandoned town and . . . . . . . . . . well, that’s about it. There’s something bad coming their way and it’s interesting to see the lack of reaction to their pending fate but this final segment simply reminded me of any old “The Comic Strip Presents…” episode skewering empty arthouse movies.
As a complete movie, The Fourth Dimension fails. As an experimental piece, it’s much more successful. The directors all have very different styles and each section has a unique identity stamped upon it, as you’d expect.
Everyone onscreen does an acceptable job but special praise must go to Val Kilmer, who gives such a hilarious and self-deprecating performance that he reminds you of just how great he can easily be (yet another reason to save him from his recent history of low-budget, non-theatrical, dross). Igor Sergeev plays the central character in the second tale and is another highlight.
There is quite a lot to enjoy here, especially if you pick up on all of the little touches that are included in each story just for the benefit of adhering to the creative brief (though the “rules” are just as often ignored, making the whole basis for the film slightly pointless), but it’s a movie that you will pick individual elements from rather than enjoy as a complete experience.
DIRECTOR: HARMONY KORINE, ALEXEY FEDORCHENKO, JAN KWIECINSKI
WRITER: HARMONY KORINE, ALEXEY FEDORCHENKO, JAN KWIECINSKI, OLEG LOEVSKY, YAROSLAVA PULINOVICH
STARS: VAL KILMER, IGOR SERGEEV, DARYA EKAMASOVA, TOMASZ TYNDYK
RUNTIME: 106 MINS APPROX