Video games, millennials and the Y2K apocalypse. Joel Potrykus, no stranger to festival audiences (Buzzard, 4th AFF), is back with his own original and rather unusual take on survival cinema, since the action throughout the entire film is set in a single room. The fight for life and death takes place in a cluttered studio apartment that is slowly becoming an epidemiological threat. Sitting on a couch sticky from sweat and soft drinks is Abbie. Armed with a PlayStation control pad, he is carrying out a mission: he has to make it through 256 levels of Pacman-without getting up, without leaving the house and without going to the toilet. Based on a risky idea and with its claustrophobic atmosphere, Relaxer is the most radical film of Potrykus's career. Along with his favorite actor, Joshua Burge, the director portrays another outsider who hasn't left his basement in a while. Potrykus doesn't shy away from grotesque humor or situations that verge on bad taste. On the one hand, he plays with nineties aesthetics, and, on the other, wonders whether a geek hypnotized by pixels is a modern rebel or a symbol of the alienating effects of capitalism. Regardless of the answer, his film might get a high five from Linklater's Slacker.
Born in Alpena, Michigan, Joel Potrykus studied Film at the local Grand Valley State University. He is the founder of the production company Son Noise Movies. In 2012, he made his full-length debut with Monkey, which won two prizes at the Locarno Festival. His next film, Buzzard, was shown at the American Film Festival in 2014. Relaxer was screened at the SXSW Festival, among others.
2007 Gordon (short)
2010 Kojot / Coyote (short)
2012 Małpa / Ape
2014 Krogulec / Buzzard