Ape (NY Premiere)
Directed by Joel Potrykus
Starring Jushua Burge, Gary Bosek, Daniel Falicki
There are a myriad of young directors who have decided to focus their attention on the failures of their peers, daring to show the western white male as immature and antisocial, exposing his contradictions, neuroses and anxieties. Welcome to economically depressed Grand Rapids, Michigan, the city of director Joel Potrykus. Here we find the listless Trevor Newandyke (a brilliant Joshua Burge), a sociopath, comic failure and arsonist. His efforts to wrestle a smile from his audience with his stand-up monologues lead to one flop after another. His jokes give off a desperate, sarcastic vision, expressing a true punk sense of humour that forestalls any kind of public support. When he’s not trying to invent pathetic jokes in front of his bathroom mirror, Trevor likes to set fire to rubbish bins and gets off on the sound of throwing Molotov cocktails at his neighbours’ homes. Trevor’s life is a concentration of trouble, absurd meetings and discussions, public humiliation, solitary wanderings and long moments of exhaustion spent between the walls of his small room. One day a man dressed as the Devil offers him a deal.
A nightmarish, nihilistic tale, the ultra-low budget Ape has all the qualities to become a standard for a generation that has no future, and is also a political manifesto for the best of new American cinema. Burge’s character is an authentic rebel and Potrykus is an innovator, and should be an example for all proletarian artists who really want to make a “guerrilla film.”—Olivier Père, Locarno Film Festival