SF IndieFest 2013
By Don Simpson | February 6, 2013
Director: Antonio Campos
Writers: Antonio Campos, Brady Corbet, Mati Diop
Starring: Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, Michaël Abiteboul, Nicolas Ronchi, Constance Rousseau, Lila Salet, Solo
Simon (Brady Corbet) recently broke up with his girlfriend since high school — or, rather, she broke up with him. He arrives in Paris to escape, to forget about Michelle, to find someone else, to… Well, let’s just move along… In high school, Simon studied French, and he does a fairly admirable job talking to the local Parisians; but he does encounter some difficulties in comprehending what they are saying to him. Oh, and while Simon was in college, he studied the relationship between the human eye and the brain. Or, so he says…
It quickly (well, that depends on your level of perception) becomes apparent that Simon is an unreliable source of information. His history is riddled with contradictions; his present is blurred by his keen knack for smoke screens. For example, Simon uses his perceived intelligence as a way to lure women in and gain their trust; besides, it is a really effective way to keep them from noticing his current lack of employment. Simon also knows how to use his boyish, fresh-out-of-university appearance to add to his presumed innocence. He certainly knows how to fumble around with his ability to speak and understand French at all the right times, too.
All the while, Simon prances around Paris with a false bravado, acting tough until he is actually confronted. He is overly aggressive with women but wants to be babied by them as well. So, what pray tell is Simon’s objective while in Paris? As a voyeuristic predator, women are mere sex objects for Simon; whether it be via online sex chats or brothels, he has orgasms by just looking at women. Simon also wants someone to take care of him. He seems scared of commitment; yet, simultaneously frightened of rejection. In other words, Simon wants everything and nothing.
Simon Killer — qu’est-ce que c’est? So much about Simon is merely a facade. He is a product of perception — what do women see when they look at him? What are women’s eyes telling their brain? More importantly, what does the camera’s eye tell us to think about Simon, as the observational — practically cinéma vérité — cinematography creates an even further allusion of truth. In many ways, Simon Killer plays like a deconstruction of perceived cinematic realism, picking away at its inherent layers of dishonesty.