Directed by Joel Potrykus
Paranoia forces small-time scam artist Marty to flee his hometown and hide out in a dangerous Detroit. With nothing but a pocket full of bogus checks, his Power Glove, and a bad temper, the horror metal slacker lashes out.
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★★★★ review by Alex Engquist on Letterboxd
something so genuinely exciting, new and dangerous that I'm hesitant to reduce it to a festival-friendly logline but I kind of can't resist when it comes to this one so here goes:
like if Kelly Reichardt loved dirtbag metal and horror movies and teamed up with the Jackass dudes for a microbudget guerilla remake of PICKPOCKET. or something.
it's also really fucking funny. There's an ingenious sight gag involving Bugles and a treadmill. There's a wholly unexpected (and perfectly executed) MAUVAIS SANG homage. There's a makeshift Freddy Krueger Power Glove, and then there's Joshua Burge, without a doubt the most exciting/talented/freakishly assured young actor I've seen in like a billion years.
and somehow Joel Potrykus, in only his second feature, is demonstrating a better understanding of duration and its capabilities than any American filmmaker I can name except probably Reichardt and Sofia Coppola.
the real shock of BUZZARD is that a film this deeply unhinged, youthful, messy and angry could also be so skillfully composed at every level. Potrykus is clearly a force - whether or not we'll be able to reckon with him remains to be seen.
★★★★ review by nathaxnne walker on Letterboxd
Mostly used egg mcmuffins and burnt rancho deluxe personal frozen pizzas stacked in a tower to reach heaven but given up on quickly enough to not reach today's horses-high but taller than eohippus. Neoliberal zombie labor scraped so hard it evacuated itself into a bucket marked Scam Economy. As a strategy for what passes for success, this only really works if you have more or less started out a millionaire and can massively leverage your organized crime dollars upwards into the presidency or an associated field like real estate, for-profit universities and/or independent defense contracting. Otherwise no.
★★★½ review by Mike D'Angelo on Letterboxd
Until the end, stays just petty enough to remain funny. Obviously, Chekhov's Gloveblades dictate a climactic moment of violence, and awaiting that inevitability was kind of a drag; I'd really hoped that Potrykus would surprise me, but it played out exactly as expected. What I hadn't expected, based on what I'd read and heard, is that until that moment Buzzard is often less a sociopathic character study than it is the indie-grunge equivalent of something like Zoolander. Burge and Potrykus together, in particular, are comedy gold at all times, with the latter's constant needling ideally suited to puncture the former's bubble of pure apathy. Sharply edited, too, with lots of hilarious cuts on distant action like Marty throwing his head back in exasperation—it's the kind of thing that would no longer be funny were he allowed to complete the gesture, which is one of those comedic devices that I appreciate without really understanding how or why it works. Didn't get much from the final image, but then I gotta say I'm not terribly interested in this as a sociological treatise. It just made me laugh. Bonus points, as noted on Twitter, for having Marty eat that plate of spaghetti while watching an old Dr. Tongue 3-D sketch from SCTV (which then shifts to "Polynesiantown").
★★★½ review by Matt Singer on Letterboxd
Sound the bugle (and shove about two dozen more Bugles in your mouth): Joel Potrykus is a funny, weird talent.
★★★★½ review by Blain LaMotta on Letterboxd
I think I'm in love with this anarchic vision from filmmaker Joel Potrykus. It manages to be both a superior character study and a hilarious satire, without either side debilitating one another. Marty Jackitansky is the troubled protagonist at the center of the picture, who as portrayed by Joshua Burge, is nothing if tragically relatable. Even as his petty rebellion spirals out of control, he still has a point to his madness. Scraping by on the fringes of our society, he holds a mirror to where we are now. Further amplified by the ambiguity of the ending, the film gets at some troubling implications of the nature of capitalism and the paranoia of an uncertain future. Still, good thing there is someone like Jackitansky out there, doomed to circle around, picking off the tarnished remains of the American Dream. His desperate, momentary victories are palpable.
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