The fourth feature from Joel Potrykus, the acclaimed American independent film director, is a story about survival in which the action, paradoxically, takes place in an increasingly dirty and trashed living room. It all starts one day when Cam (David Dastmalchian) gives his younger brother Abbie (Joshua Burge) an unusual but tempting challenge: to beat a high score in a well-known video game without ever getting off the couch. The whole point is about the honour of an enthusiastic player, of course, but also something much bigger—the male ego. But what about basic physiological functions? As Cam goes into a sort of a trance and a series of guests stop in to visit, the lines between night and day, reality and fantasy start to blur. Relaxer is on the one hand an action movie that takes place in a sealed-off, claustrophobic space. On the other hand it’s a philosophical and socially accurate story about modern, infantilised masculinity. And last but not least it’s an often terrifyingly funny tribute to ‘90s cinema and the aesthetics of cult video games of the era.
Adam J. Minnick
Neon Indian, Alan Palomo
Joshua Burge, David Dastmalchian, Andre Hyland, Mahfuz Rahman, Madigan Bachman