Violent gunfights, visceral takedowns, high-drama interrogations and even angrily tossed metal chairs -- all are absent from Police, Adjective.
Yet this determinedly downtempo, absurdly mundane and undeniably smart (and subtly black-humored) film is another example of the rebirth of cinema in Romania -- Cristian Mungiu’s award-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was only one low-budget example of the bracing and critical intelligence of the country’s filmmakers. Call this an anti-Heat, an anti-Departed, a police procedural suspicious of its own process.
Filmmaker Abel Ferrara is the raspy-voiced, wild-haired rascal of an uncle that you wish you had -- though you’re probably glad he wasn’t around to recklessly rock your cradle in his crazed, distracted youth.
New York Times critic Manohla Dargis was exactly on point when she described Beijing director Jia Zhang-ke as “one of the most original filmmakers working today.” Working above and underground with quiet audacity and a refined eye, Jia seems to have undertaken the sizable task of documenting a changing China -- with a clear-eyed attention to the grit and banality of daily life that Italian neo-realists and documentarians can appreciate, and a lyricism that poets can applaud. A product of Chinese cinema’s so-called Sixth Generation, Jia appears to be working toward a hybrid cinema that seamlessly fuses the real and ineffable.