David Lynch, blecch. Hes the Alan Rudolph of cinematic subversion, and heres how much I dislike him: Id writhe through a Rudolph triple-bill of The Moderns, Choose Me, and Trouble in Mind if it got me out of seeing Eraserhead again. Serendipitously, Ive found someone who not only agrees with me on the Lynch-sucks point, but sports a mysterious nom de guerre (The Vocabulariast) and writes for a Web site (moviecynics.com) that pretty much sums up my artistic Weltanschauung. I stumbled upon The Vocabulariast while scouting reviews of a 2006 flick titled The 4th Dimension, which No Festival Required is bringing to town for a screening. Dimensions a trippy, nonlinear, black-and-white tale about a moody loner who finds Albert Einsteins Unified Field Theory journal and gets all tangled up in time Einsteins would-be fourth dimension. Reportedly made for about $75,000, 4Ds one of those movies thats pregnant with symbolism (the protagonist is a clock repairman named Jack Emitni, which is in time spelled backward). Its genre can best be described as festival/arthouse. Gushing critics, who we imagine puffing pipes and wearing jackets with arm patches, have name-dropped Kafka, Darren Aronofsky, Lewis Carroll, and, of course, David Lynch. After bitch-slapping Lynch, The Vocabulariast goes on the praise The 4th Dimension, an expanded short film co-directed and -written by Tom Mattera and Dave Mazzoni. The following excerpts from the moviecynics.com review tell you just about everything you need to determine if 4D is for you: The film advertises itself as a sort of groundbreaking metaphysical examination of time, when in reality it is more of a straightforward examination of a tormented individual struggling to find a way to cope with his own set of problems. Unlike many arthouse films which are simply odd or quirky for the sake of art, The 4th Dimension actually has something to say. It may be a little cheap in its methods, and there is definitely a bait and switch feel to the last 5 minutes of the movie, but the message is important enough to merit a little forgiveness. The 4th Dimension is character study at its finest, mixed with a fresh perspective, intriguing visuals, and sound design that is tension producing. I very rarely enjoy films that reek of arthouse pretentiousness, but The 4th Dimension is definitely a fun and challenging watch. If thinking gives you a headache, you should probably stay away from this and get yourself a copy of Witless Protection. Wet lashings of David Lynch and Larry the Cable Guy in the same story? Bestill my cynical heart.
Sat., July 5, 7 p.m., 2008