Simon Killer

Year: 2013
Production Co: Filmhaven Entertainment
Director: Antonio Campos
Writer: Antonio Campos/Brady Corbet
Cast: Brady Corbet

A stocky American guy, Simon, is wandering around Paris trying to get over a breakup with his girlfriend back home.

He starts a relationship with an escort after visiting a sex club and pursuing her romantically, but before long he starts seeing a pretty girl on the side he met at a club and helped on the street.

Eventually, after his escort girlfriend confronts him, his reaction is shocking and brutal, and all the while he's still writing to his ex back home hoping to rekindle things.

It might be a drama about a guy who can't keep it in his pants, but Simon is never an obviously bad guy, impassive and fairly emotionless even as he and his hooker girlfriend try to extort and blackmail money out of her clients to varying degrees of success.

It feels like a very long movie – probably longer than it really was, because the handheld camera following Simon around Paris takes its time telling us what he's doing and who he's doing it to. It's never rushed, and while many will find it disturbing and uncomfortable (as has been written about it), many more will simply be bored until the rare scenes of action that furthers what little plot there is.

Writer/director Campos (from the creative stable behind Martha Marcy May Marlene seems to be making a partly experimental film to see just how long an audience will invest in an essentially unlikeable person. Simon hardly ever seems violent or repellent, just dour and uninteresting. When he proves to be dangerous as well you like him even less, and for a long, slow movie that spends so much time with him, it's something of an exercise in endurance.

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