Buzzard (Joel Potrykus, 2014)


Marty Jackitansky (Joshua Burge) hones a discernible distaste for authority. For those similarly trapped within a state of obvious arrested development, such a truth isn’t so much revelatory as it is presumed. Negligibly sticking it to the man via lowbrow con schemes, Marty’s decision to pilfer miniscule tax return checks from his temp employer plants him firmly if needlessly on the lam. Armed with self-deprecating naivety and an ill-altered Nintendo Power Glove, Marty does what he can to get by as his predicament worsens.

Given how focused as Buzzard is on its decidedly abhorrent subject, it’s safe to say that those not immediately taken by Marty’s… charisma won’t find anything on display enjoyable. The man in question lives for petty thievery, his understanding of what it is to do what he does remaining his only existential impetus. He isn’t the smartest, however his “Fuck the Man” mantra is easy enough to root for as a typically harebrained scheme of his inevitably goes tits-up at the hands of an unwitting manager.

Although largely and unavoidably inane, Potrykus’ focus intends to thrive on Marty’s misguided obliviousness. Through brief interactions with his mother via pay phone, it’s understood that this individual is one of unfortunate circumstance, a lack of discernibly beneficial parenting doing little to point Marty in the right direction. As this unfortunate reality unfurls as one expects it would, the alternately deserved and lamented loneliness benchmarking Marty’s troubled existence forces us to constantly gauge him as a character worthy of studying.

While no grey area exists regarding an opinion of Burge’s Marty, writer/director/editor Potrykus’ incisive illustration of this distinct individual procures enough credit for Buzzard‘s assured recommendation. Although slight in terms of scope and presentation, the film thrives as a purposefully grounded character study that deftly avoids melodramatic pratfalls. It’s certainly an acquired taste, however Buzzard‘s self-imposed merits are easily appreciated should you not be immediately turned off by Marty’s ceaseless abrasiveness and ignorance of etiquette.


One comment on “Buzzard (Joel Potrykus, 2014)

  1. “…it’s safe to say that those not immediately taken by Marty’s… charisma won’t find anything on display enjoyable.” Agreed. I was so interested by the character and Burge’s performance that even him eaten spaghetti was incredibly engrossing. But I can’t imagine watching that scene, and others if you found Burge, and the character uncharismatic.

    Good review, yo

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