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Four What? Four What? Four What?
by Becky Tan

Das Vierte (the Fourth) is a TV channel which specializes in vintage, mostly Hollywood, films. This year Das Vierte sponsored a film competition. Each film was to run exactly 100 seconds and mention the number four. From 2000 submissions, 10 were chosen for the contest. The audience chose the winner from the 10 finalists by filling out ballots in the cinema or online.

They featured a solitary bag left in a restaurant, a precocious child who cuts down trees, a reality show in a super market, TV advertising, a murderous granny, a lovesick couple in a train station, the transfer of stolen money, a CD grilled in a sandwich, a marathon runner and self-mutilation. The number four came through as four kilometres, train track #4, four fingers on a hand, four graves, four chairs, etc.

The winner, Lauf (Run) was also my favorite. A man in a bathing suit runs from the beach, over hill and dale in a straight line with no regard for hindrances and collapses in a heap at a woman’s feet. She is the proprietor of a bed and breakfast and says, “Yes, you made it in four minutes,” and then puts up a sign: Just four minutes to the beach. Director Holger Hustädte won a week at the New York Film Academy camp in Universal Studios in Hollywood.

It was a special treat to sit through all ten films, before the regular feature began, and then vote.

1. lonely bag at café
2. man running four miles Der Lauf
3. begabtes Kind fells tree
4. reality show at super market
5. cuts off finger because likes number 4
6. black comedy, granny kills people
7. couple says goodbye at train station
8. two guys with money: customs and police
9. girl who ate CD in a grilled cheese sandwich
10. short ads on TV

Das Vierte was present in other ways, e.g., they offered free internet connection and special menus in the Abaton Bistro. Young representatives from Das Vierte, who were dressed in its signature black and yellow colors, passed out free popcorn (with sugar) in front of Grindel every evening.