Septien

Time Out rating:

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Time Out says

Tue Jul 5 2011

Opening with a series of Dargeresque drawings, Michael Tully's second feature feels like a piece of outsider folk art, making up in inspiration what it lacks in technique. A filmmaker and critic for the blog Hammer to Nail, Tully plays Cornelius Rawlings, a wayward former high-school athlete who's spent 18 years wandering the wilderness. (Given his beyond-bushy beard and the wraparound shades, this lost soul apparently spent time getting fashion tips from the Unabomber.) Eventually returning to the dilapidated rural dwelling of his youth, he reunites with what's left of his family: an artist (Tukel) who incorporates scatology and crucifixion into his works; and a queeny neat freak (Longstreet) who designates a picnic site by exclaiming, "This is a glamorous spot!"

After several long, ambling sequences of Cornelius huffing gas and hustling recreational sportsmen, the "plot" kicks into gear: A broken septic tank necessitates a call to a plumber (Mark Darby Robinson) who happens to be their former football coach. The abuse the plumber heaps on a demure young woman (Korine) hints at the original impetus for Cornelius's departure, and the looming presence of a black-clad, cross-wearing mystery man points the way toward the film's abrupt conclusion. Septien's loose-limbed grotesques and Southern inhospitality evoke forebears from Gummo to All the Real Girls, although its aims are more difficult to discern. As intriguing as the movie is, there's the sense that its free-associative story line has been dredged up from its maker's unconscious and recounted without filter or shape.

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Release details

US release:

Wed Jul 6, 2011

Duration:

79 mins

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