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, Antonio Campos, Brady Corbet

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

    Powder Room

    Sheridan Smith stars in this fun female-led comedy-drama set in a Camden nightclub bathroom.

  • Film4

    Apache Territory

    Western with Rory Calhoun. A drifter finds himself in charge of a desperate stand against Apache warriors who are determined to either expel incomers from their domain or kill them.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House 2016

    Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, London¿s groundbreaking open-air film festival, returns between 4-17 August, with a prestigious programme of classic and contemporary films, and a total of thr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed film deals at Cannes 2016

    In addition to Andrea Arnold's American Honey taking home the Jury Prize, Film4 are thrilled to report that a number of deals were announced for Film4-backed films in Cannes... THE KILLING OF

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • At 6.35pm, Tom Cruise climbs mountains & rides a motorbike in slow motion in John Woo's Mission: Impossible II. https://t.co/7ZMBAkfBSt

  • RT @freesat_tv: Catch the late James Gandolfini's penultimate film appearance in the charming Enough Said, tonight at 9pm on @Film4 https:/…

  • RT @printclublondon: We're back @SomersetHouse @Film4 #summerscreenprints FULL LINE UP HERE: https://t.co/8AyW1PxAzG https://t.co/bOVyxmXGnK

  • @kat_gelder @SomersetHouse Right here: https://t.co/4x9Oe8X5FW

  • @East_ The Kings Of Summer came out in early 2013, so maybe he was... 17?

Share