Joel Potrykus at the 2012 Belfort Entrevues Film Festival
|Born||Alpena, Michigan, United States|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
Potrykus was born and raised in Alpena, Michigan, then moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to study film at Grand Valley State University. A stint as a stand-up comedian in New York City led to the inspiration for his first feature film, Ape. While spending a year as a temp at a Michigan mortgage company led to the inspiration of his second feature film, Buzzard.
After a series of 8mm and 16mm short films in college, Potrykus founded Sob Noisse Movies, which produced two larger-scale super 8 shorts, the neorealist zombie film Gordon and the minimalist werewolf film Coyote. His first feature film, Ape, made its world premiere at the 2012 Locarno Film Festival, where it won Best New Director and Best First Feature Special Mention at the festival. It went on to make its North American premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and US premiere at AFI Fest in Hollywood. His second feature film Buzzard, again starring Joshua Burge, as an angry temp worker, made its world premiere at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, singled out by Janet Pierson as the stand-out in its field. It is the third film in his Animal Trilogy which includes Coyote and Ape.
Style and influences
Ape is seen both as a black comedy and rage fantasy, following failing stand-up comic and part-time pyromaniac Trevor (played by Joshua Burge) as he suffers one humiliation after another, both on stage and off. The film is notable for reigniting the American indie slacker niche of the mid '90s, both in aesthetic and voice. Buzzard continued the movement, focusing on a horror metal slacker's petty fight against "The Man".
- Gordon (2007)
- Coyote (2010)
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- Kenigsberg, Ben. "Joel Potrykus’s Film ‘Buzzard’ Is Inspired by Dead-End Jobs". New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
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