“Police, Adjective” — Romanian boredom cinema at its best!

October 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm 2 comments

Yesterday I went to this stylish Cornerhouse Cinema in Manchester to watch a Romanian film called Police, Adjective. Yes, a strange title — and an even more unusual film. The trailer was not very promising, the description also seemed boring (A police guy following some school children smoking marihuana? So what??). I went to the cinema, of course. As a preparation, I slept before — and this is what I also would advise you.

With a clear head, even refusing a pint before, I finally dared to see the film in the 50 seat Cornerhouse cinema, with 15-20 other people on the saturday night screening.

I remember somebody famous saying Éric Rohmer’s movies are like “watching paint dry.” Actually, I enjoyed Rohmer’s Ma Nuit chez Maude. Not for the logic and all the philosophic references, but simply for its atmosphere and directing.

Compared to Rohmer’s movies, Police, Adjective is like watching paint dry. Not only that: it is like watching grey paint dry, that is already almost dry. Grey and greyer shades. bleak, bleaker, the bleakest.

After we follow the young police guy Cristi for like one hour on his mission waiting and walking through a decayed Romanian city, eventually some subtle colour tones are added; Music is played (deliberately kitschy Romanian folk music), some dialogue appears (the whole script probably fills three A4 Sheets). I know Romania, and must admit the film is a fairly authentic account of some of the depressive buildings in Romania’s suburban areas. Fortunately, I also know Romania from its beautiful side. But if you see this movie, be warned: you will only see the ugly side. In this regard, the aesthetic side perfectly mirrors the movie’s sparse dialogue. A coherent piece of art, speaking from the aficionados point of view.

But there’s a turn in the end. People are finally talking to each other!  And how? With the help of a dictionary; Forced by his boss, Cristi needs to look up words like conscience, moral, and law, to justify himself for refusing to brutally enforce the law on some Marihuana smoking school children.  Earlier in the movie, we’ ve already seen Cristi having an interesting conversation with his girlfriend about Romanian grammar rules.  (Are you awake still?)

As the movie is so slow,  has little dialogue, no sound effects and only one music track, EVERY word counts. One could also make the cynical argument, that the movie was shot on a smalll budget, thus the director needed to fill the time with long shots on futile waiting and walking scenes. I guess, the movie is a compromise through and through: in its production, as well as in its moral conclusion (Of course, I don’t give the ending away here). Give it a try, if you’re up for experiments.

But I definitely cannot recommend this film if you disliked Lost in Translation or Space Odyssey. Also, go alone and go for insight, not for entertainment.

P.S. You cannot read this, I hope: The film is also on youtube in 15 parts.

Other Reviews on wordpress…

Entry filed under: featuring:, Literature&Art. Tags: , , , , , , .

“Foreigners Out!” — Container Europe Banksys Exit Through the Giftshop Verarsche

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gabriella  |  October 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Dear Jannes,

    You are right on one thing: the film is not about entertainment, but about insight. I agree that the plot might be boring…but, as you said, this film il not about being entertaining…”Poliţist, Adjectiv” is a very good example of the self irony Romanians are so good at…it offers at the same time a critical perspective of the Romanian policeforce and of the “boring” way things often work in Romania (unfortunately)… Nonetheless the actors are really good..:)

    • 2. jannesr  |  October 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      I quoted one link to another blog entry that says that the (black!?) humour is lost in the translations…that might be the case, because I did not spot anything humorous or sth. referring to a “self-irony”. Well, If one thinks about it, lots of the dialogue is somehow between strange and ridiculous (in a positive sense). Romanians probably can see this ironic subtext easier…

      I wonder about your statement of the “Romanian boring way”, whatever that means for a national police force. Maybe you mean that Romania is rather slow in adapting (e.g. Cannabis consumption not allowed compared to other EU countries) — and this is definitely my message of the movie, which is a relatively positive one, because compared to all the corrupt police forces we see in many movies, this Romanian police force seems to be working well and has time for dialectic and dictionary research. One could imagine worse depictions of one’s country in an international movie…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

About jannesr.wordpress.com Blog

This Blog has no real mission, but it is just a place for me to publish stories.
I like to have the pressure to simply write something down for an abstract audience. Bristrouble.wordpress.com was another attempt of me to do this when I was in Bristol. See below.

Twitter Messages


Recent Posts

RSS London Leben – great monothematic Blog

  • The End
    Ueber vieles haette ich noch schreiben wollen: trams in South London z. B., Joseph Grimaldi Park, die time machine in Brompton vielleicht, Londons aelteste Bruecke, die molly houses … Aber es ist Zeit. Alles endet irgendwann mal. Das Land hat sich veraendert. Die Stadt hat sicher veraendert. Und nicht zum guten. Sie wollen uns nicht mehr. Wenn man dort nicht […]
  • Gallivanting
    Urlaub. Dann entscheiden, wie es weitergeht. Bis bald. Hoffentlich.

RSS Art-for-eye Blog on Web 2.0 (mostly)

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: