January 16, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

THE MAN ON THE ROOF Carl Gustaf Lindstedt, Sven Wollter (1977, New Yorker, unrated, $89.95, subtitled) One of the strangest cop movies ever, this acclaimed Swedish film by Bo Widerberg ignores every rule of dramaturgy. Based on a novel about the search for the killer of a corrupt cop, the plot is far from traditional: The usual twists and revelations are absent; the protagonists are in the wrong place when things go down; the story doesn’t conclude so much as just stop. It should be agonizingly dull; instead, the aimlessness creates a different kind of tension, not unlike watching O.J.’s Bronco creeping along the freeway — nothing’s happening, but anything could. B

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