Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ekran: The Fourth Dimension

The next set of films from the Ekran Festival called The Fourth Dimension, consisted of a 3 part series; The Lotus Community from the United States, Chronoeye from Russia and lastly, Fawns from Poland. Although separate, each theme revolved around the idea of time.

At first, the opening credits of The Lotus Community intrigue you. It gives you something to ponder on a deeper level and to maybe even reaffirm your own beliefs about the concept of time. Shortly after, it all goes down hill. I need to scratch my head and wonder what the approach was that director Harmony Korine was trying to convey to the audience. It wasn’t funny, memorable or even remotely interesting. It was mind-numbing. I can understand meaningful interpretations and even some symbolism, but I think I might have killed some brain cells in the process of watching Val Kilmer’s character banter on and on and on. He plays a crazed motivational speaker that felt like a psychedelic acid trip gone horribly wrong. Cue in some odd space sounds and a group of followers, who may just be heading towards the mother ship sooner than expected, and there you have it. Perhaps I do not understand the existentialism, but dear God, I could not sit through this ever again.

Next we have Chronoeye from director Alexsei Fedorchenko. This was another odd film that I clearly cannot fathom the praise for. Keeping on the theme of time, we meet a recluse time-traveller named Grigory who spends all his time locked away with a camera on his head, battling with the past and unable to deal with the present. His experiments are constantly interrupted by noise coming from the rather attractive neighbour downstairs. Enthralled with his work, but bothered by these distractions, he knocks on her door repeatedly throughout the film asking her to stop the noise. It’s a continuous cycle of begging for his attention/apologizing for the racket, and him declining her offers. All we see the neighbour do is dance rhythmically to music in her apartment, how captivating (note my sarcasm). Finally the climax occurs in the film, and there is a small smile across your face to see the pieces of the puzzle finally come together or perhaps to see the credits.

Completing the series, we have Fawns, directed Jan Kwiecinski. Again, if this is critically acclaimed, I must be missing something!

The sum of it. Left to fend on their own, a group of kids run amok in a small town, after an apocalyptic flood warning. Nothing happens throughout the film that is exceptionally stimulating at all, at least for me. There is a great deal of walking around aimlessly, so at least the cast got some exercise. We see a couple in lust, the usual love triangle surfaces, one person goes missing and at the end, they stumble upon a discovery that just seems to come out of nowhere. Ah and can’t forget to see the fawns appear at the end to somehow wrap up the whole movie into a meaningful piece of work. Yeah, right!

So there we have it. Obviously, I didn’t enjoy watching these movies at all. An exception had to do with some neat cinematographic moments, mainly in Chronoeye. I felt like I was at an art gallery with another person and both of us were staring at the same picture. “Masterpiece!” says the first person…. “utter drivel” states the second. Who is correct? It’s called an opinion and we are all entitled to one.

Hopefully the remaining films I have on my desk will be at least a bit more enlightening, otherwise I’m in for a very long weekend.