It is no coincidence that Rachel Korine, wife of infamous filmmaker Harmony Korine (Trash Humpers, Gummo) is an actress in Septien. Writer and director Michael Tully owes a lot to Korine’s bizarre, often extraordinary body of work. And to be perfectly honest, any film that features a character smearing poo on their lips like lipstick has my thumbs up.
But seriously, don’t let that put you off. This is exactly the type of film to see at the festival- one that you definitely won’t be catching in theatres again, and I mean that as a massive compliment. Septien is a grotesquely engaging low budget film that has the imagination of something with nothing to lose.
It follows middle-age brothers Ezra and Amos who live on an overgrown farm in the South of the United States. Both are shocked when their brother Corneliius rocks up on their doorstop after being absent for eighteen years. What follows is best left unexplained; suffice to say that you will see none of it coming.
Tully creates a distinct atmosphere despite the budgetary constraints. And if it all goes a little bit too nuts in the finale (a man in a dress may give birth to a doll), there is enough satire of southern gothic clichés to make this completely worthwhile.
Septien screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was part of the “Direct from Sundance Film Festival” initiative.
Director/writer: Michael Tully
Cast: Robert Longstreet, Onur Tukel, Michael Tully, Mark Darby Robinson, Rachel Korine
Where: SFF screening, 10th of June, Events Cinemas
Images provided by Sydney Film Festival