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4

Succinctly titled Oz docu "4" is an elegantly lensed but awkwardly packed kitbag on a globetrotting journey that uses Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" as a point of departure.

With:
With: Sayaka Shoji, Niki Vasiliakis, Cho-liang Lin, Pekka Kuusisto.

Succinctly titled Oz docu “4” is an elegantly lensed but awkwardly packed kitbag on a globetrotting journey that uses Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” as a point of departure. Film jumps from Tokyo (spring) to Australia (summer), New York (autumn) and Finland (winter), with a talented violinist heading and performing in each seg. But between the music making, there’s way too much talk and lack of focus. Film opened locally to brisk arthouse biz in August. Midlevel fests and pubcasters will also dance to the docu’s tune.

Starting with Tokyo’s springtime cherry blossoms, the docu’s first quadrant is heartwarmingly pleasant, including cute tyke violin prodigies. Oz and Gotham sections are over-discursive: in the former, a violinist en route to a concert in Queensland stops in Alice Springs to talk to some Central Australian aboriginals; in the latter, an Oz-raised Taiwanese violinist largely sits in a deli being an “honorary Jew.” Finnish section refocuses on the pic’s seasonal theme, but as a whole, “4” gives no clear idea of what it’s aiming for. Picturesque HD lensing is a delight, as are the musicians’ performances, while other tech credits hit the right notes.

4

Australia - U.S.

Production: A Film Finance Corp. (Australia)/ITVS Intl. (U.S.) presentation, in association with New South Wales Film & Television Office, of a Vast Prods. production. (International sales: SBS Content Sales, Sydney.) Produced by Joanna Buggy, Tim Slade. Executive producer, Susan MacKinnon. Directed by Tim Slade.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Pieter de Vries; editor, Lindi Harrison; music, excerpts from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." Reviewed at Greater Union Cinemas, Sydney, June 16, 2007. English, Japanese, Finnish dialogue. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Sayaka Shoji, Niki Vasiliakis, Cho-liang Lin, Pekka Kuusisto.

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