(Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Oscilloscope delivers the ambitiously experimental Relaxer, starring Joshua Burge and David Dastmalchian, twisting the survival tale to surreal levels. Writer/director Joel Potrykus emphasizes an avant-garde vision, making each scene feel breathtakingly intimate.
With the impending Y2K apocalypse fast approaching, Abbie (Joshua Burge) 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.
Here are 5 reasons why you should see Relaxer:
5) Joshua Burge!
An unbelievably incredible performance, actor Joshua Burge captures the mental and physical breakdown of the isolated Abbie. Topless the entire time, Burge captures a frightened young man caught in limbo, eager to be something special but stuck in mediocrity. As the episodic narrative continues, Abbie (Burge) rots in his self-built hellhole, yearning to see the outside world.
4) David Dastmalchian!
I really loved David Dastmalchian’s engaging performance as Abbie’s overly strict brother, Cam! Filmed in extremely long takes, David Dastmalchian and Joshua Burge have unbridled energy as they keep the sibling rivalry going. The long-take camerawork by Adam J. Minnick reminded me of two-person plays, where the instinctively connected players are matched by their dynamic chemistry.
3) Episodic Meanings!
The funniest segment from the quirky flick comes from Andre Hyland, who plays Dallas. Arin (Adina Howard) serves as the moral conscience when she stops by for a visit. What these two have effectively done is create interesting characters with very limited scenery.
2) One Setting!
Writer/director Joel Potrykus dives into a single setting, imagining a couch potato who has not accomplished anything significant in his life. Pushing genres to the extreme, I was not expecting the apocalyptic climax and the gory final act.
1) Slacker Cinema!
Wildly weird, Relaxer goes above and beyond to push slacker cinema to a whole new level. Audiences are in for a surreal and visually retro trip!
Relaxer hits cinemas this Friday, March 22nd 2019, and opens in New York on March 29th, 2019.