The first time I saw Antonio Campos’ latest psychosexual character study Simon Killer, I was in a claustrophobic room alone. With no one around, the darkness of the space allowed for an immersive viewing that felt at once disorienting and pleasurable in its discomfort. The second time I saw the film, earlier this week at its Lincoln Center premiere, I was with a packed audience watching it on a large screening, experiencing Simon’s sociopathic, music-fueled, violent and sexual world with others—making for an entirely different experience. But this time, I found my fingers twitching, smiling with delight in moments that perhaps made me a little embarrassed to be getting so much enjoyment out of. Knowing the character’s arc and the outcome of the picture allowed me to be present for the ride all the more, engraining myself in certain moments rather than wondering just what would happen next.
Rich in tone, texture, color, and psychology, Campos’ first film in five years is an entrancing waltz with destructive impulse, passionate aggression, and emotional isolation. Simon comes to life through the wildly talent Brady Corbet who seems to have the best eye for a role. Created by Campos and his Borderline Films family, Simon Killer—in its simpliest terms—follows a lonely, heartbroken, and horny guy who graduates from college and heads to Paris, where he becomes involved with a young prostitute. Campos, Corbet, and co-star Mati Diop all collaborated on the story, giving it a sensual and complex voice.
We showed you a first look at the film a few weeks ago, but now IFC has released the official first trailer and you’re going to have to check this out. Focusing on the more narratively thrilling aspects, the trailer does much to entice. But aside from the violent thrills, Campos’ film is an incredibly visual and synesthetic Parisian coming–of-age tale with music and pulsating colors like psychological cues through SImon’s twisted mind.
Set to finally have its US release thing spring, Simon Killer will have its theatrical run at IFC Center starting in April. Enjoy the trailer below.