Cinema has had its fare share of fads over the years. 3D, DBox, iMax, and now thanks to performance artist Mamoru Iriguchi we have 4D Cinema. Iriguchi is an Edinburgh based theatre designer with vast experience in using technology in performance. He was last seen at the Fringe a few years back with his successful show Projector/Conjector.
In the queue outside the Cairns Lecture Theatre at Summerhall, the audience are handed a pair of glasses. On one side ‘3D’ is written and on the other side ‘4D’. The lo-if DIY quirkiness continues when we take our seats and the show begins. Iriguchi takes to the stage with a flat projection screen attached to the exterior of his head. On top of this screen a projector clumsily hangs and beams images around his face. It’s an unconventional set-up for an unconventional piece of performance art.
Iriguchi uses his imaginative projection device to tell a cradle to grave biography of the German actress and singer Marlene Dietrich. The performer asks us to put on our 3D glasses and then awkwardly moves around the stage inhibited by the projection device. While the performer struggles with the headgear he begins to tell a surreal and seemingly inaccurate biography of Dietrich. Images of the actress are projected around Iriguchi’s face and sound bites from Dietrich are played over the PA. The sound however, is curiously played in reverse. We later find the purpose of this when the audience is asked to turn their glasses over and experience 4D Cinema. We learn that the performance has been filmed and the show is then frustrating played out in reverse on a screen to the back of the stage. Here we now witness a backwards biography where the facts and audio is reversed. The effect is confusing and not as original and inventive as the first section of the show. We know how the story is going to end from a visual perspective as we have already seen it. This removes any mystery or excitement which is disappointing as the 3D section had both these elements.
4D Cinema is an interesting and funny show, from a creative and original performer. There could have been many approaches to presenting a backwards biography of Marlene Dietrich, but somehow Mamoru Iriguchi managed to do it using a method no one else could have imagined.