The 4th Dimension: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 5, at Space 55 Theatre
By Clay McNear
David Lynch, blecch. He’s the Alan Rudolph of cinematic subversion, and here’s how much I dislike him: I’d rather writhe through a Rudolph triple-bill of The Moderns, Choose Me, and Trouble in Mind before seeing Eraserhead again.
Serendipitously, I’ve 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. Dimension’s a trippy, nonlinear, black-and-white tale about a moody loner who finds Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory journal and gets all tangled up in time – Einstein’s would-be fourth dimension.
Reportedly made for about $75,000, 4D’s one of those movies that’s 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.”
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“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.