Indie director Antonio Campos has put the tipoff in the title, suggesting that this particular Simon — played to chilling effect by Brady Corbet — is anything but simple and that he might possibly be lethal as well. Whether he is an actual killer or Campos is only sifting around for the right metaphor really is beyond the point. What is so disturbing about this contemporary noir is that Simon could easily be mistaken for just another American college boy wandering around Paris on break, one of those troubled, slightly broken intellectual types women are forever trying to save.
In its monstrous overture, a driving score, by no less than Scott Walker, sports furious strings that stab like a psycho killer at our every nerve. Scratchy archival footage drops us into a post-WWI Europe clearly itching to get back to war. We see marching troops and preaching demagogues and marauding trains.
Now this is what we like to see when an actor first slips behind the camera. Brady Corbet, the handsome young star of Thunderbirds and Mysterious Skinhas not made a film about cheesemongers in Brooklyn. Demonstrating the recklessness that comes only with youth, Corbet has embraced his much-discussed intellectual enthusiasms and directed a s European art film.
It's a judgment aimed not only at newcomers to the party, but anyone deviant enough to know what they're in for and show up anyway. At first glance, Funny Gamesa remake of Michael Haneke's Austrian film of the same title, sounds little different from other ruthless home-invasion thrillers that cater to the gray zone of viewer enjoyment — which Hitchcock mischievously alluded to when he spoke of "putting the audience through it. After some pleasantries that grow increasingly sinister, the vacationers get unnerved and ask the visitors to leave.
Brady broke into the big time with a role in the provocative teen drama Thirteen when he was only fifteen years old. Nic Cor-butt, Brady! Simon Killer - as Simon.
In many films, music provides an escape. Despite its throbbing, indie-cool soundtrack, music in this Sundance hit is used to keep us continually off-balance, uneasy, trapped. Things seem to pick up when Simon meets prostitute Victoria Mati Diopa fragile young woman who takes pity on him and lets him crash at her flat.
At just 19 years of age, actor Brady Corbet has built his career on unusual roles in nontraditional films. BC: I had, yes. Years ago. I loved it.
The Childhood of a Leader. Photo courtesy IFC Films. Careful what you say because the children will listen.