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Philly Film Fest Day Seven: In 4-D

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It was a One Movie Day: had to detox a bit. I checked out a film from local co-writers/co-directors Tom Mattera and Dave Mazzoni (who co-produced with fellow Philadelphian Daniel M. Kalai).

To call The 4th Dimension Lynchian would be to suggest that it makes less sense than it actually does. The film can get a little ambiguous, but not, like, Mullholland Drive ambiguous. However, the filmmakers make no secret of their love for the maestro and the influence of films like Eraserhead (which, apparently, was shot in Philly – I learn something new at this fest every day), which certainly informs the protagonist’s hair.

That having been said, I don’t want to diminish the filmmakers’ unique stamp on the piece. Let’s talk about camerawork. Let’s talk about detail and research. Let’s talk about excellent location scouting (seriously). Let’s talk about qualities usually lacking from hometown-guys-done-good indie flicks. The film occasionally teeters on the edge of student-film pretension but never topples over, mostly due to the discipline displayed by the filmmakers in the above categories, and an excellent performance by the lead, Louis Morabito.

You’ll notice that I haven’t said much about the plot. That’s because this is one of those films where even a modicum of exposition could influence the payoff. Now, whether or not I feel completely satisfied with that payoff is debatable, but then again, whether or not I feel I completely understood the payoff is just as debatable. This is the sort of film that, I suspect, rewards multiple viewings. Just the fact that it brings up some interesting ideas (à la the equally demanding Pi) makes it worth a look.

Stay tuned for an interview with the filmmakers.

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