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Wild hogs and a shirtless lunatic dot the boulevard, civilians discover a freezer filled with bear claws (not those you dunk in your morning coffee), and a police officer is more concerned with being assigned blame for a suicide than he is preventing the jumper from taking a dive. Just another day in the big city, in this case Guangzhou, China, captured on DV cam.

Billed as a “city symphony,” Huang Weikai’s Disorder owes as much to reality TV, with its penchant for adding immediacy to culturally disposable imagery, as it does Russian pioneering filmmaker Dziga Vertov’s The Man With a Movie Camera, a film it was obviously inspired by.

Weikai spent a year whittling down over a thousand hours of footage, depicting random acts of madness and mayhem, captured by amateur cameramen. The results range from surrealistically playful (a literal game of cat and mouse), to unnerving (a group of police officers clubbing a seemingly indestructible man into submission recalls Rodney King). The raw black-and-white cinematography gives the twenty or so different segments a horrifically uniform look, and the textured grain pattern is like sandpaper to the eyes. Imagine Night of the Living Dead shot in the middle of a torrential downpour of golf balls.

Disorder screens tonight at 5:20 p.m. as part of the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Click for more info.

Reader Rating: Three Stars

MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 58

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