Potrykus is one of the most talented and well known directors to come out of the West Michigan film scene. I haven't had a chance to see his first film "Ape" yet but his sophomore offering of "Buzzard" is a delightfully funny and rebellious workplace punk rock anthem for the everyman. "The Alchemist Cookbook" certainly caught some off guard with its change in tone from his previous work but it is a decent horror film with some really special moments in it. Having seen both of these films, I was really primed to see some thing more than unique when I got to go to a special screening of "Relaxer," in conjunction with this years ArtPrize. I didn't know anything about this film going in but within a minute the premise is being set coyly with a wink and a nod. Sure the challenges that Cam throws at Abbie are extreme and cruel but the idea that Abbie, or Joshua Burge, would take the ludicrous challenge to sit in one spot on the couch for six months seriously is even extreme enough that you can almost feel the director winking into the camera saying, "That's right. We ain't movin' and we ain't gonna cheat. We are doing' this." The entire movie, one of the characters never moves their butt off their seat. This really impressed me. On the one hand, as a film maker I know that the grind of moving locations every day can really wear a crew down. Being at one set the whole time would sure be nice. But then again, I can imagine it might start dragging a bit after a while. Day after day in the same place. Clocking in and clocking out. I mean, half of us in this business do it because we dream of breaking out of that kind of routine. That's where the movie is subtly brilliant, probably unintentionally, but if not, Kudos to you, Joel. Even the way that it gets made is a sort of commitment to break out of the normal, the thing that is holding us back. I have never gotten a chance to talk to Joel but I bet that even like the smallest of us film guys, he lament's that we can't work on the scale we want, for the rates we want, and with all the time we want. We make sacrifices and before you know it we are back on the couch. Wasting the days into the new millennia. At the very least, watching this film made me want to fight the things that keep me down. They may not be as gross, or funny, or outlandish as in "Relaxer," but they still need to be taken down.
Comedy / Fantasy
Comedy / Fantasy
With the impending Y2K apocalypse fast approaching, Abbie is faced with the ultimate challenge - the unbeatable level 256 on Pac-Man - and he can't get off the couch until he conquers it. A survival story set in a living room.
March 21, 2020