A scene from Harmony Korine, Aleksei Fedorchenko, and Jan Kwiecinski's THE FOURTH DIMENSION, playing at the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 19–May 3, 2012. Photograph courtesy of the San Francisco Film Society

By Janine Gericke.

This year’s San Francisco International Film Festival, which ends on May 3, has offered an array of spectacular films. One of the many films that stood out for me was the anthology film The Fourth Dimension. The Fourth Dimension brings together three short films by U.S. director Harmony Korine, Russian director Alexey Fedorchenko, and Polish director Jan Kwiecinski. Each filmmaker had to abide by a cheeky set of rules created by Korine and Vice Magazine editor / executive producer Eddy Moretti. The one-page brief was full of rules like:

This film must be the best film you have ever made.
The audience must never know “the truth.”
The line between what is real and what is not must be blurred.
The hero needs to be bold and flawed.
The hero must tell bad jokes.
People who live outside of the mainstream are good.
Stray dogs are good.
A character must make up a song.
There needs to be a character named “Mickey House.”
Someone must wear tap shoes.
The film must look beautiful.
You must give the audience a glimpse of the fourth dimension.

In Korine’s short, The Lotus Community Workshop, a very entertaining Val Kilmer plays, well, Val Kilmer, as an eccentric motivational speaker who tells his devotees that the Fourth Dimension is “Cotton Candy.” Fedorchenko’s short, Chrono Eye, follows a man who tries to find happiness by using a makeshift time machine. Kwiecinski’s short, Fawns, follows a group of friends who wander through an abandoned town, until they come across someone in need. The film can be difficult to categorize. It is part sci-fi, part comedy, with a little bit of drama. The thread that holds these films together is that these characters are searching for enlightenment, a feeling of being a part of the world. I enjoyed this film and think that it is worth a look, as long as you keep an open mind.

A scene from Ramona Diaz's DON'T STOP BELIEVIN': EVERYMAN'S JOURNEY, playing at the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 19–May 3, 2012. Photo by Ninfa Z. Bito, courtesy of San Francisco Film Society

The festival is still screening for three more days, and will include screenings of Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s new film Chicken with Plums, Tanya Wexler’s Hysteria, Peter Nick’s documentary The Waiting Room, Kirby Dick’s documentary The Invisible War, Francis Ford Coppola’s horror film Twixt, and Michael Winterbottom’s drama Trishna. The festival closes this year with Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, about YouTube sensation Arnel Pineda’s rise to fame by becoming Journey’s new lead singer. The film will screen at the Castro Theater.

The San Francisco International Film Festival ends Thursday May 3. For more information, please visit the official website for the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival: http://festival.sffs.org/index.php

A full festival report will be included in issue 10.3 of Film International.

Janine Gericke is a Film International ‘In the Field’ writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *