The Seed of Man (1969)

aka Il seme dell’uomo
Article 4744 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-28-2015
Directed by Marco Ferreri
Featuring Marco Magine, Anne Wiazemsky, Annie Girardot
Country: Italy
What it is: Surreal post-apocalyptic science fiction drama

A man and a woman survive a devastating plague and take refuge in an isolated house which is converted into a museum. The government of the survivors wants the couple to bear children to repopulate the world; the man desires to do so, but the woman resists. Then another woman shows up who may be less resistant…

I’ve encountered Marco Ferreri before; I’ve also seen THE APE WOMAN, which I found quite interesting. Though I think I’ll have to see more of his oeuvre to decide how I feel about him overall, I must say that I like this one as well. The premise is fairly straightforward, and the movie does remain focused on it, but it’s also full of strange moments, bizarre touches, and memorably surreal sequences. There is an encounter with a flying Pepsi bottle, a beached whale, and a barn full of human replicas. It has moments of tenderness and moments of unexpected brutality; some moments seem inevitable, others come way out of left field. In some ways, it reminds me of Corman’s LAST WOMAN ON EARTH, but only on the surface; I don’t think I’ve really seen anything quite like it. It’s an art film of sorts, but I find it more approachable than a lot of other examples of that type. I’m not sure I can say I love the movie, but I like it quite a bit.


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