Mar 26, 2008

The 4th Dimension


The 4th Dimension originally started out as a student film. This was no surprise for me as it is well known Mr. Lynch’s feature length debut masterpiece Eraserhead came out of a similar situation (Lynch received a grant from AFI for the film). The 4th Dimension follows a path laid out by David Lynch, James Fotopoulos, and Darren Aronofsky (the artistic poser and hack). One can’t help to look at those experimental films before when evaluating The 4th Dimension.

Unlike most contemporary films, The 4th Dimension features very long and calculated shots. These welcoming drifting shots bring the viewer on a ride to the unknown. The 4th Dimension also features various nicely set-up wide angle shots that Stanley Kubrick would be proud of. The creators of The 4th Dimension seem to have actually learned important techniques in film school (unlike most film school directors).


Like it’s predecessors, The 4th Dimension was filmed in black and white film stock (including some color film during the end). The images are crystal clear and complimentary of the film’s protagonist Jack’s unemotional neurosis. I also got the feeling that David Lynch’s Elephant Man lent some influence to The 4th Dimension’s atmosphere. The 4th Dimension is a character study of an individual with an introverted personality. Only during the film’s conclusion do we find the truth behind Jack’s ambiguous and complicated character.

Various childhood flashbacks help to build up pieces of Jack’s background. As a young child, Jack was a child genius and prodigy. He eventually becomes obsessed with Albert Einstein’s unified field theory. Jack’s obsession with time is a result of very depressing and hopeless circumstances revolving around his mother.


During the film’s climax, Jack finally realizes his forgotten past and unleashes an explosion of pent up emotions. He finds himself in an abandoned mental hospital that could believably be housing various ghosts of former patients. The 4th Dimension could even be a tribute to the decayed past of a building from hell. The end of the film is unexpected yet complimentary. The film begins in ambiguity and ends in a collected package. Quite a change for the experimental film.

The 4th Dimension was written, produced, and directed by Tom Mattera and Dave Mazzoni. I find it very unrealistic that two collaborators could create a film with a linear flow of ideas. The 4th Dimension succeeds in its team of two fellow students. The film features an array of beautiful cinematography, suited acting, and lonely yet warm luscious dream sequences. I will be looking out for the filmmakers further work in the future. I suggest you do the same.


-Ty E

1 comment:

anarky said...

i bought the dvd but have not viewed this film..after reading this review, i most certainly will..