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: Antonio Campos, Mati Diop, 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 Wish I Was Here

    Wish I Was Here

    Zach Braff writes, directs and stars in his belated second feature about a man who begins to re-examine the relationships in his life after his father falls ill

  • Film4 A Walk Among The Tombstones

    A Walk Among the Tombstones

    Ex-New York cop turned unlicensed private detective Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) hunts down two ruthless kidnappers, who target the wives of mid-level drug dealers with ready cash

  • Film4 Neighbouring Sounds

    Neighbouring Sounds on Film4

    Life in a middle-class Brazilian neighbourhood changes upon the arrival of an independent private security firm in Kleber Mendonca Fliho's assured debut on Film4

  • Film4 Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Wheels In Motion Season On Film4

    It's a parade of motorcycles, trains and automobiles on Film4 as the Wheels In Motion Season gets rolling

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 10 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

  • The Hindenburg won Special Achievement Oscars for Sound & Visual Effects. It was also nom'd for Cinematography, Sound & Art/Set Decoration.

  • Coming up next at 1.50pm, George C. Scott & Anne Bancroft star in Robert Wise's vivid, Oscar-winning historical drama The Hindenburg.

  • If you missed director Steve McQueen's appearance on @BBCRadio4 Desert Island Discs yesterday, listen to it here: http://t.co/9udWucyz8T

  • RT @Nevskyp: Oh, if you didn't catch this last week, here are my 11 picks from the #LFF programme, inc. Tom Hardy + puppy action: http://t.…

  • RT @RadioTimesFilm: Get ready for THE EQUALIZER (out Friday) with some more kick-ass Denzel in "gripping" MAN ON FIRE ★★★ 10.50pm @Film4 ht…

Share