CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

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: Mati Diop, Brady Corbet, Antonio Campos

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

    The Day He Arrives

    Comedy-drama from South Korean director Hong Sang-soo. A film director visits a friend in Seoul, but his trip begins to resemble a romantic version of Groundhog Day

    On Film4: 6 Nov 1:30AM

  • Film4

    In Another Country

    South Korean director Hong Sang-soo's drama stars Isabelle Huppert in three separate stories about French women who travel to a Korean seaside town.

    On Film4: 3 Nov 12:00AM

  • Film4

    The Debt on Film4

    Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington & Jessica Chastain star in John Madden's Nazi-hunting thriller

  • Film4 Evil Dead

    Halloween Weekend on Film4

    Two nights of spooks, shocks and scares to celebrate Halloween Weekend on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • @ItIsJohnDoe Yep! 'Mother Sky' - what a track! Funnily enough, they're credited as 'The Can'.

  • Our late-night highlight at 1.55am is Skolimowski's cult classic Deep End, starring John Moulder-Brown & Jane Asher: http://t.co/PuEsHLyMbr

  • @helholds Oh no! Don't worry, though, we're repeating it next Weds at 11.40pm.

  • From Van Helsing to The Evil Dead, here's what we've got in store for Halloween Weekend: http://t.co/qbHZAHGshp http://t.co/FyZvS8rFc7

  • Up next at 10.55pm, Quentin Tarantino rewrites history with the help of Brad Pitt & Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds.

Share