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You Can't Win: ‘Police, Adjective’ Refuses To Go By The Book

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.

Gimme Shelter: ‘Chelsea On The Rocks’

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.

Factory Elegy: '24 City' Looks Back With Tenderness

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.

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