The Fourth Dimension: Tribeca Review

Despite appearances, anthology film isn't all weirdness for its own sake  

Val Kilmer gives up acting to embark on a journey of altruism and finds himself inside a roller rink giving advice to a group of societal outcasts.

NEW YORK — An anthology of quirk-courting shorts that entertains despite the flimsiness of its organizing conceit, The Fourth Dimension will draw attention for a Meta performance by Val Kilmer but doesn't fizzle once his chapter ends. 

Theatrical prospects are slim, but it may find a cult following on small screens.

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Kilmer's chapter, directed by Harmony Korine, finds him playing a character named "Val Kilmer" -- "a great man" who has given up acting to embark on a sort of motivational-speaking mission of altruism. 

The meat of the film takes place in a roller rink, where (clad in bolo tie and jean shorts) Kilmer dispenses bizarre, sometimes hilariously surreal advice to a group of societal outcasts.

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Jan Kwiecinski's chapter finds four Polish hipsters exploring a town that has been evacuated in anticipation of a Bible-sized flood. 

The disaster offers a chance to treat others' sacred places and prized possessions as penny-arcade diversions, and the film threatens to be a dispiriting, nihilistic exercise until Kwiecinski puts his characters' humanity to the test.

In Russian filmmaker Alexey Fedorchenko's "Chronoeye," an antisocial inventor works on a machine that will use the atmosphere and the earth's crust as antennae, producing a signal allowing him to look back in time. 

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The machine works, but with some crucial flaws -- the more the inventor struggles with them, the more the machine becomes a poignant metaphor for our own blinkered perspectives on the passage of time.

Fedorchenko's scenario is the most literal in depicting the movie's stated theme, which turns out to be only one of many directives exec-producer Eddy Moretti gave his filmmakers. 

A page-long "Creative Brief" consists of Dogme-like dares (the director must shoot at least one scene while blindfolded) and silly suggestions ("Stray dogs are good. 

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They can be really meaningful."), and there's little evidence that any of the filmmakers took it very seriously.

Even so, the guidelines (and the selection of participants) establish a kind of Outsider metaphysical expectation that serves Fourth Dimension well, priming viewers for some half-serious mind-blowing in which the whole is just a tiny bit greater than the sum of its parts.

Production Companies: Vice, Grolsch Film Works

Directors: Harmony Korine, Alexey Fedorchenko, Jan Kwiecinski

Executive producers: Eddy Moretti, Shane Smith, Thomas Kamphuis, Ronald Van Amergoen, Dmitry Vorobyev, Agnes B.

Cast: Val Kilmer, Igor Sergeev, Darya Ekamasova, Tomasz TyndykProducers: Priya Swaminathan, Matt Elek, Michael Derkits, Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Michal Kwiecinski

Directors of photography: Kamil Plocki, Christopher Blauvelt, Shandor Berkeshi

Screenwriters: Harmony Korine, Alexey Fedorchenko, Jan Kwiecinski, Oleg Loevsky, Yaroslava Pulinovich

Production designers: Stanislav Kruppa, Artyom Khabibulin, Elliot Hostetter, Anna Wunderlich

Music: Val Kilmer, Nick Zinner

Editors: Leo Scott, Roman Vazhenin, Tymek Wiskirski Psm

Sales: Mark Ankner, WME Entertainment

No rating, 104 minutes