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52 Ratings

The Alchemist Cookbook

Directed by Joel Potrykus
United States, 2016


Suffering from delusions of fortune, a young hermit hides out in the forest hoping to crack an ancient mystery, but pays a price for his mania.

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The Alchemist Cookbook Directed by Joel Potrykus
It’s difficult to imagine what a script for all of this would even look like. Whatever The Alchemist Cookbook has to express, it expresses through scenes that feel as though someone were dared to do something while a camera rolled, in the near-extinct tradition of the transgressive underground movie.
October 05, 2016
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The film remains an unmistakable Potrykus job. Few working filmmakers are as in tune with the curious predicament of being young and capable yet too lazy to bother fighting an uphill financial battle, and still fewer that manage to casually assert their cine-literacy without making a show of it. In its dogged rejection of easy audience identification points and its gradual untethering from logic, The Alchemist Cookbook only offers a platform for Potrykus to push his authorial quirks further.
June 16, 2016
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It’s funny at first, especially when supply-bearing cousin Cortez (Amari Cheatom) shows up, gamely choking down cat food tuna on a dare, but turns taxingly dark when Sean’s medication runs out and the isolation overwhelms. Hickson’s largely silent performance is superb (in the kind of complex role not typically given to black actors in modern horror movies), never overselling his creeping madness.
June 14, 2016
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