Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
"Simon Killer," a maddeningly short-sighted character study about a disturbed young American in Paris, is consistently unsettling, but not always for the right reasons. Writer-director Antonio Campos ("Afterschool") takes great pains to establish his antihero protagonist, Simon (Brady Corbet), as a voyeur with a very limited field of vision. The film's rocky first half hour establishes Simon as a socially awkward, self-involved character with a myopic worldview.
But Simon's inconsistency of vision isn't entirely his fault: while being a narcissist certainly doesn't help, Simon can only know so much because he can only perceive so much. Campos accordingly presents the film's events from a chilly, deliberately limited third-person perspective typified by slow-moving camerawork, and claustrophobic framing that reveals only fragments. In other words, we're frequently prevented from seeing characters' heads, shoulders, knees and toes. So, we're meant to feel as trapped in the film's obtuse world as Simon does.
A bad break-up sends Simon fleeing to Paris, where he agrees to housesit for Carlo (Nicolas Ronchi), a family friend. Within a week, Simon develops a relationship with Marianne (Constance Rousseau), a prostitute he meets in a bar-cum-brothel. Simon believes Marianne when she tells him that having sex with Simon will be a real pleasure as he's much more attractive than her usual clientele.
But while Marianne's troubled past explains her attraction to the deceptively shy Simon, that doesn't make their relationship is believable. There's no great chemistry between them. Still, their romance is supposed to be tentative, so the ambiguous nature of their relationship is intentional, if not wholly successful. Marianne eventually agrees to Simon's ill-conceived plan to blackmail some of her wealthier clients.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
A review of Netflix's new series, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," which premieres January 13.
Meryl Streep and other awards recipients shared their thoughts on an America under Donald Trump during last night's G...
A review of NBC's "Emerald City," premiering January 6th.