A collaborative effort produced by VICE and Groslch Film Works, anthology film "The Fourth Dimension" contains three short works that explore otherworldly experiences, but have little in common beyond that. VICE Films director Eddy Moretti provided the participants with a few vague guidelines, such as the requirement that they blur the line between reality and fiction, but left the content largely up to the filmmakers.
That's probably a good thing, because the first and best entry of the anthology, Harmony Korine's "Lotus Community Workshop," could only have come to fruition if the "Gummo" director was given no restrictions for how to express his ideas. For this project, Korine (who recently finished shooting his next feature, "Spring Breakers," in Florida) turned to a name actor equally willing to work without restraint: Val Kilmer, playing "Val Kilmer," a pompous, retired actor living in an upscale neighborhood and giving nonsensical motivational lectures to desperate people who cling to his every word.
The movie is a jarring, absurdly hilarious experience that may very well end up as one of the best actor-director collaborations of the year. Indiewire sat down with Korine, Kilmer and Vedder in New York this week to talk about the project shortly before its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Val, this is a role unlike any you have done before, and you have done a lot. What drew you to it?
VAL KILMER: I don't want to get into a legal tangle, but I would say I'd almost say yes to anything Harmony wants. (laughs) He's an imp and he might take advantage of me. He might write an absurd character who's wildly stupid and call him my name.
HARMONY KORINE: That is a legal tangle.
VAL KILMER: Every time I asked him about this, he said, "You know, we'll just see, if it doesn't work, we'll change it." Then I get [to the shoot] and there's a sign that says, "Welcome to Lotus Community Center, Val," and it was 30 feet wide, so I kinda figured that's how it would go.
Harmony, how did you conceive of this project for Val?
HK: When Eddie approached me about making a 30-minute movie, I thought it was a weird timeline, a little longer than I'd imagine a short film. It wasn't a feature, and I didn't really want to make a movie. I thought it would be interesting to make something that was more like a performance or a social experiment or something. I'd seen a picture of Val wearing a beret and a ponytail and I just thought, "If I could write anything for anyone, it's him." I just wanted to hear him say this stuff, and then I wrote it.
Eddy, what sort of role did you take on once Harmony showed you the script?
EDDY MORETTI: I took on almost no role. I forwarded on money. I believed that if you're going to pick a director to work with, you are picking them because they're bringing their vision to the project. I got excited about it. It's like a chamber drama or a one-act play. He's never done something like that, so I was really excited to see what he did with that format. The only question I had was who the people in the crowd were. I imagined them to be really down-on-the-luck people, the great, vast unemployed American middle class that's fucked now with no jobs. And he thought so, too.