A Year of Rest and Relaxation: "Relaxer" and the Cinema of Joel Potrykus

Published on Apr 17, 2019

RelaxerThere is no clear, direct film comparison to provide for Joel Potrykus’s Relaxer. It can feel like a blender of one director’s proclivities and tastes. That speaks well for Potrykus’s imagination, one who alchemizes and is inspired by polar opposite film sensibilities, as there are times Relaxer looks and goes in directions uncharted by current American independent cinema. In its play-like staging, gross-out humor, and signifiers of the end of the century that tease an alternative reality, Relaxer is a gnarly, minimalist tour de force, Sartre’s No Exit for the Y2K period slacker. Slackerdom is hardly the new exploration in American indies. Richard Linklater built his career on such character types. His slackers, however, carried an air of pretension to occupy themselves, like reading the classics or deep-diving into conspiracy theories. Even with Linklater’s Rohmerian style of centering philosophical conversations, his works had an

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