Rollerblades, Saxophones, and Aliens in Max Juren's Latest Film

“Trying to make a Michael Bay movie and I end up with a sub-Ed Wood movie."

When your film revolves around Rollerblades, saxophones, and an intergalactic interloper, you are bound to end up with something unique. That's surely the case with Bladeroller, a low-budget, sci-fi action film set in a futuristic world where a saxophone is the key to interstellar communication and possibly the planet's survival.

If it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is – but that’s all part of the charm for director Max Juren.

“I wanted to make the kind of movie that I like to watch,” said Juren. “Something with original ideas that would be too stupid for someone else to spend that much time on.”

The film has shades of David Lynch crossed with absurdist humor reminiscent of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show. The plot hangs together loosely, but is always entertaining. Part of that is indicative of Juren’s style, but it’s also the reality of making a low-budget film. “It’s definitely a stripped-down version,” said Juren. “I wrote it as a feature, I did a crowdfunding thing, and I always said that whatever I got I was going to make it.”

Sparked by a love of conspiracy and action films, Juren also mentions Matthew Barney as one of his cinematic influences – serious films that become comedic because they’re so absurd. Juren set out to make a glossy, slick, action film but ended up with an engaging and seriously bizarre featurette. “That’s the disparity,” said Juren, “I’m trying to make a Michael Bay movie, and I end up with a sub-Ed Wood movie. I’m aware of that, and I’m hoping that’s part of its charm. I think the flaws are what have come to be my characteristic style.”

It’s not a normal film, but in a lot of ways that’s what makes it worth watching. Juren's is a unique voice that doesn’t adhere to the standard conventions of filmmaking, and Bladeroller offers it. The premiere screening bypasses the traditional film festival route. “I call it sci-fi conspiracy, but I’m showing it at an art gallery,” said Juren. “So it kind of has an art film feel.”

“Ultimately I just hope people will take a chance to go to a weird spot to see a weird movie.”

Bladeroller premieres at Co-Lab Projects (721 Congress) on Saturday, Dec. 3, with screenings at 8 and 9pm. Cast and crew will be in attendance. The password at the door is "namaste motherfucker." Check out the Facebook event page for more info.

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Max Juren, Bladeroller

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