“Septien” proves the paths of “weird” and “interesting” do not always intersect. Second narrative feature for director Michael Tully, here also thesp and co-writer, is duly offbeat without ever being very compelling in content or aesthetic. Tale of some rural Tennessee men with beaucoup issues was selected as one of five “Direct From the Sundance Film Festival” features for online distribution, and that will likely peak its exposure.
A dilapidated former farmhouse is home to the Rawlings brothers, who no longer farm but pursue their own eccentric obsessions: Amos (actual artist Onur Tukel) paints primitive, violent and sexual pictures in the barn; nagging, cooking and fussing, Ezra (Robert Longstreet) plays matriarch in the kitchen. Not an actual relative, simple Wilbur (Jim Willingham) sleeps in a giant tire outside. Everyone is shocked when youngest sib Cornelius (Tully), once a star athlete, shows up sans explanation after 18 years’ absence. Eventually a preacher (John Maringouin) arrives to help everyone face their various repressive, mostly sexual hangups. But ambling progress mostly feels like a tepid in-joke, with Tukel’s art and some offbeat music the package’s only real plusses.