Romanian Take on the Police Procedural
"Police, Adjective" (opening February 12 at Landmark's Ken Cinema) is part of the Romanian New Wave, which is a small handful of quirky, dryly funny, socially conscious works. Listen to the discussion about the film on the KPBS Film Club of the Air.
Director Corneliu Porumboiu previously made the ironic comedy "12:08 East of Bucharest." Now Porumboiu takes the police procedural and crafts it into a sly commentary on the state of Romania and on the responsibilities of being a citizen. The first half of the film may bore American audiences used to the fast pace and frantic cutting of Hollywood cop films. But if you are patient, "Police, Adjective" pays off handsomely at the end. The slow early going are simply to reflect the slow, dull work that cops really have to do on stakeouts and have to suffer through pursuing a case.
Porumboiu has a wry sensibility and finds humor in one man's quiet rebellion to authority and to a law he just doesn't think is fair. But this is a film where a phone ringing can be the most exciting thing to happen in a scene and where the film's final climax involves reading definitions in a dictionary (a Romanian dictionary). Listen to our discussion about the film and I hope you will be inspired to seek it out and samble its quirky humor.
You can also listen to my feature on "12:08 East of Bucharest" from The World when I spoke with director Corneliu Porumboiu.