Film - Feature | October 6 | 7:30 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
One of the pillars of the Romanian New Wave, Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective) is known for his somber, wry studies of human nature, but none of his previous features will fully prepare you for The Whistlers, a sleek and exhilarating thriller that pays homage to the escapist spirit of Hollywoods yesteryear. Veteran character actor Vlad Ivanov (Snowpiercer) gives a standout performance as Cristi, an undercover cop who has infiltrated the local mob. The plot revolves around Cristis ability to learn an obscure, bizarre whistling languagean unbreakable code that crooks use to pass information without law enforcement finding outwhich adds an unexpectedly delightful running joke to what is otherwise a twisty, sexy tale full of double-crosses, showdowns, and powerful seductions. Setting aside the bristling political commentary that has been the bedrock of recent Romanian masterpieces, Porumboiu isnt slumming; rather, hes crafted a stunningly smart genre exercise thats just as attuned to peoples fears and desires as his superb earlier work.
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