One of the great ironies of the detective-centered plot is that, more often than not, it is the observer who is being observed. And not just by other characters in the narrative, but primarily by us, whether we are watching a movie or television show, or reading a pulp yarn. From the Continental Op to Veronica Mars, it has been the detectives themselves more than their cases that have commanded our attention. It is this attraction that is under scrutiny in Corneliu Porumboiu’s Police, Adjective, a movie that bends, as much as it obeys, the genre’s conventions.
Cullen Gallagher is a Brooklyn-based writer, musician, and curator whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Moving Image Source, Bright Lights Film Journal, Beat to a Pulp, NoirCon, Crimefactory, Film Comment, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Fandor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Hammer to Nail, Spinetingler, Between Lavas, Reverse Shot, and Guitar Review. He records instrumental music as Modern Silent Cinema and plays in the hardcore band Night Squad.