Owen Long's "Seeds" is a slow, languorous ride into the unconscious troubled mind of a man, Marcus, who is plagued by unnatural thoughts for his niece. At first glance, we see the beauty and placidity of a stately New England coastal home: rolling hills punctuated by serene fieldstone, sailboats gliding on the Narragansett Bay, its waters lapping on rocky shores. We catch a glimpse of a young prepubescent girl in a white frock, who while playing among the rocks discovers a beautiful conch shell. Nestled within this shell is a creature whose tentacles flicker briefly, the portentous seeds for the main character Marcus' unraveling. While the cinematography woos us into a coastal lullaby, we are made increasingly aware of the unrest literally lurking beneath the surface. Marcus, played superbly by Trevor Long, is an accomplished city man who returns to his family roost for a restful sojourn. The house he inhabits, a relic of his childhood, is on the verge of extinction as its creaky floorboards and tangled web of dysfunctional electrical wiring would suggest. But, it, like Marcus himself, takes on a second life, as the mollusk creature has grown up, alongside the house's inhabitants, weaving its tentacles into every crack and crevice. Director Owen Long's obvious reference to Nabokov in the character of Lily, serenely executed by actor Andrea Chen, will inevitably invite the censure of a culture now woke to sexual harassment and transgressions of every ilk by the Me Too movement. However Lily turns Lolita on its head as she is the active temptress preying upon her reluctant uncle. Long deftly weaves into his narrative engine a dreamlike montage of images that blur the boundaries between victim and victimizer, sanity and insanity, reality from horror fantasy that leaves the viewer spellbound and wondering.
An artist's ode to unrequited love or a dark poem to forbidden fruit? This is the miracle of "Seeds" and you must watch and decide for yourself.
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