Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 18
  • Drama, Thriller
  • 2012
  • 105 mins

Simon Killer

Simon Killer

Synopsis

Antonio Campos' equally disturbing follow-up to Afterschool (2008) observes a young American Euro-tripper unleashed onto the hunting grounds of Paris.

About

"My thesis project was about peripheral vision. It dealt with something called crowding and size pooling. The width of one object is given a weighted average of the objects around it... It's published, actually."

Repeated several times with a hesitant modesty that looks increasingly rehearsed, these words contain within them a key metaphor for the effect of Simon Killer on the viewer. For just as Euro-tripping New York postgrad Simon (Bradley Corbet) might never stand out or be noticed but for the camera's unrelenting focus on him, so too the film itself, when viewed by a casual eye, might seem just another breezy intercontinental romance or backpacking rites-of-passage indie. For Simon, set adrift by his recent breakup with a long-term girlfriend back home, goes on a formative journey of self-discovery in Paris, soon entangling himself with two very different, but equally short-sighted women from the City of Love: the myopic prostitute Victoria (Mati Diop) and the nystagmic literature student Marianne (Constance Rousseau).

Yet the truth, hinted in the film's title, in the central casting of Corbet (Funny Games), and in the blankly uncompromising filmography of writer/director Antonio Campos (Buy It Now, Afterschool), is that Simon Killer is a close character study of disconnection verging on, and then beyond, sociopathy, as our craven antihero lies, cheats and manipulates - and worse - to get what he wants. At first Simon is shot from a cool distance, but once the camera starts fluidly tracking him (as he tracks others), all to the jungle rhythms of his personal stereo, there emerges a portrait of a pathological predator. His mother may nickname him 'fox', and he may prefer to see himself as a lion – but most disturbing is how easily Simon passes for human, blending in unnoticed with the crowd.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Brady Corbet
  • Director: Antonio Campos
  • Writer: Antonio Campos, Brady Corbet, Mati Diop

In a nutshell

Alienation, anomie, angst, affectlessness, electropop – Antonio Campos' coolly undemonstrative second feature brings into gradual focus an American (sociopath) in Paris.

by Anton Bitel

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    As Above, So Below

    Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman and Edwin Hodge star in writer-director John Erick Dowdle's found-footage horror mystery.

    On Film4: 27 Feb 9:00PM

  • Film4

    Wild Tales

    Argentinian writer-director Damián Szifrón's feature debut is an Oscar-nominated anthology of six darkly comedic short thrillers about violent revenge.

  • Film4

    Wild Tales on Film4

    Damián Szifrons BAFTA-winning black comedy plays on Film4 for the first time.

  • Film4

    As Above, So Below on Film4

    A deadly secret is discovered under the streets of Paris in this intensely creepy found-footage horror, playing on Film4 for the first time.

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • @philippino72 Very Kick Ass, too. https://t.co/GjSK0xrmyZ

  • RT @Film4: The Japanese poster for Free Fire is intense. https://t.co/h2fjjFsoD0

  • RT @ChrissIrvine: This list (and subsequent office debates) is the reason I'm doing no work today: https://t.co/LgVf8n0TE3

  • “To talk of peace is not hard. To live it is very hard." Up next at 1.05pm, Jimmy Stewart stars in Broken Arrow. https://t.co/31VmuCRncr

  • Those folks at @ThePlaylist have ranked every Best Picture Oscar nominee since 2000. Time for a heated debate...… https://t.co/awft8FGKAz

Share