Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we see what happens when you mash up performance art with a big budget, deal with the issue of youth homelessness, dig for some buried treasure with a little dry humor, get the song “Wild Horses” stuck in our heads, and try to overcome some very real hardships.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, excluding Valentine’s Day starring every safe, boring white actor ever, that offer proof. /Film’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review or an interview.
The first half-hour of Police, Adjective features several long takes following an expressionless young detective as he walks and walks Romanian streets in silence, occasionally bending to pick up and examine a roach of hashish recently discarded by high schoolers. Watching the scenes, I began to think about the resilience of the never-ending yet naive affair between indie films and patience, or boredom, that plays out in front of modern audiences. Weeks before seeing this much-praised import, I had estimated, however cynically, that the mere inclusion of Adjective in its title had daisy-cut its potential audience stateside; add in all of this walking and creeping—and we’re talking more than in Ti West’s The House of the Devil—and my imagined demographic for the film outside of the indie faithful became commercially bleak.
But I also sensed in these long takes that writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu was consciously going against-the-grain, staging mundanity in real-time with jestful purpose. I decided to trust the instincts and stay with it. It turned out to be one of the best and more profound films I’ve seen in 2010 thus far.
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