Posts tagged ‘Police’

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

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.

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October 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm 2 comments

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