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“The Fourth Dimension” – First impressions of Val Kilmer’s Tribeca film

Val Kilmer in "The Fourth Dimension"

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By Jordan Hoffman

If nothing else, “The Fourth Dimension” marks a new way for me to accord a film with a basement-level backhanded compliment. I won’t recommend you go so far as to rent it or catch it on cable, but I do urge you to, in time, watch clips of it YouTube.

This anthology film is ostensibly about the concept of space-time, though only one of the three shorts puts this premise front and center. None of the shorts are any good (one is flat-out unwatchable) but the first of the three is notable in its meme-readiness. I’m speaking about “The Lotus Community Workshop,” directed by Harmony Korine, starring Val Kilmer as Val Kilmer.

Set in a neon-lit arcade/roller rink, Kilmer spazzes out as a manic motivational speaker before a freakshow group of losers. Seemingly ad-libbed, Kilmer’s verbal dexterity is able to hold your attention longer than you might think, especially as there is only the thinnest thread connecting his carpet-bombed brain droppings. He’s accompanied by a DJ who adds cheap sound effect punctuations to nearly every other sentence and, I must say, the joke manages to get funnier the longer it goes. If the desired intent is to simulate watching a faith healer while on LSD, mission accomplished.

Intercut with the “sermon” is footage of Kilmer riding his bike around town, talking about his mission with civilians, and renting a video game with a woman in corn rows. The short ends really proud of itself, with a song on the soundtrack and a closing-credits tag discussing the need for a catch phrase. You’d think that someone so colossally hipper-than-thou as Korine would eschew such a victory lap, but I suppose he has an easy out by saying that even this celebration-of-its-own-cleverness is meant to be in quotes. Fine. The truth is that there are many very entertaining moments in the “The Lotus Community Workshop,” and Korine is back on firmer ground after his insufferable last feature “Trash Humpers.”

The second film, Alexy Fedorchenko’s intensely Russian sci-fi short “Chronoeye”, has a neat concept even if its ending is wholly predictable. A science genius who turned down $1 million in prize money works feverishly in his dilapidated apartment. He’s seen putting a giant magnet (or something) atop a tower and is now using the field generated from it in connection with a helmet-cam and a monitor to “see” into the past.

For brief instances he can catch a glimpse of someone’s POV at certain moments in time. Alas, these snippets only frustrate him more, as they offer no understanding. Further, he is haunted by visions of hands playing a piano. Only when he connects with his annoying neighbor (an attractive young dancer who, as luck would have it, has a fetish for older men driven mad by the demons of his past) is he able to see a possible future.

It’s a reasonably cute short, but on the nose moments like shouting “I need God’s point of view!” is something only a Slavic tongue can get away with.

The final film, “Pawns” by Jan Kwienciski, is hardly even worth discussing. Its defenders (if there are any) may argue that it is an allegory and not meant to be taken at face value, but I say you can take it face value – as a substitute for Ambien.

A group of wildly-clothed youth run around an abandoned town as news broadcasts talk about an encroaching storm. Eventually, they leave.

“The Fourth Dimension” is produced in conjunction with Vice Magazine, and while I loathe that publication and its odious worldview, I swear to you I went into this film without any foreknowledge of their involvement. Indeed, “Chronoeye” isn’t very “Vice” at all and “The Lotus Community Workshop” seems of a piece with Korine’s earlier work, much of which I enjoy (specifically “Julien Donkey-Boy.”) I can’t tell you if “Fawns” has the Vice aesthetic – I’m not trendy enough to know when clothes look crazy or are on the cutting edge. I can say, however, that all films, even ones produced by those whose life’s work it is to make others feel bad about themselves, ought to strive to at least not be boring.


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…