SXSW Review: Septien

Tuesday, March 15 by

I must be really getting into the festival circuit because now I’m totally open to a movie like Septien. Before I would make fun of these festival type movies where a bunch of weird characters get involved with weird plots just to be abstract, but now I’m in a place where just go with it.

On the farm, Ezra (Robert Longstreet) feeds his friend Wilbur (Jim Willingham) who sleeps in a tire while Amos (Onur Turkel) draws pictures of monsters with penises. Amos and Ezra’s brother Cornelius (Michael Tully) returns calling himself Khan. They go about their lives having picnics, working on penis pictures and finding buried video camera with a metal detector.

The introduction shot of Cornelius walking through a field with his full beard and hoodie just reminds me of a film school movie. Students would shoot long takes because they didn’t know how to just get into a scene yet. Tully, who also directed, seems to do it on purpose. This is just the beginning.

Cornelius hustles athletes because he’s a tennis grand slam and a mad dunker. He steals gasoline by squirting it on his shirt and running away to huff it. The septic tank breaks and while Ezra cleans up the poop, he falls and cuts his head. Then he uses the blood as lipstick.

The plumber, Red “Rooster” Rippington (Mark Darby Robinson), reminds Amos of their old gym teacher. Rooster’s got a young girl, Savannah (Rachel Korine) with him, but says she’s not his daughter.

Ezra freaks out over a missing puzzle piece. Cornelius chugs some malt liquor out of a paper bag and then vomits. Amos considers touching a table saw. If this sounds weird enough for you, don’t worry, I haven’t spoiled the weirdest part. It involves someone talking about being force fed hamburger by one’s mother next to half a man.

I won’t be watching Septien again, but I could recommend it if you’re interested in film festivals and wondering what sort of movies are winning slots on the circuit. This is what today’s young filmmakers have to say.

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