Five years ago, director Antonio Campos came onto the scene with Afterschool, a thriller that also introduced the world to actor Ezra Miller. Then a few years later, Campos was at Sundance with his filmmaking partners of Borderline Films for Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene. At the time, he told us he had just filmed his second movie in Paris and in 2012 that movie, Simon Killer, premiered at Sundance itself.
Simon Killer is just as daring and ambitious as Afterschool, and it’s significant because it marks Campos’ fourth collaboration with actor Brady Corbet (Funny Games, Mysterious Skin) who played a supporting role in “Martha Marcy” (and a larger role in the short that preceded it), and who is really giving a showcase of his talents with the role of Simon, a college student trying to get over a girlfriend by spending time in Paris. While there, he has an encounter with a prostitute named Victoria, played by Mati Diop (“35 Shots of Rum”), leading Simon down a darker and darker path.
ComingSoon.net sat down with Campos and Corbet earlier this week and in the video interview below we spoke to the duo about:
* Campos’ own background with Paris and why he wanted to shoot a movie there
* How Corbert first learned about the project
* Both of them talk about developing the project before going to Paris
* How they found filmmaker Mati Diop to play Victoria
* How autobiographical the film ended up being since they both had spent time in Paris
* How they took stories from the escorts in the background and incorporated them into the story
* Getting into Simon’s head and how he transforms over the course of the film
* How the film is fairly divisive among audiences with very little middle ground
* We talk about my comparing it to Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”
* Campos updates us on what Borderline has been up to with Josh Mond preparing to direct his first feature
* Corbet talks a bit about “Paradise Lost” and his upcoming filmmaking ventures
Simon Killer opens in New York at the IFC Center on Friday. If you happen to live in New York or be in town this weekend, we highly recommend seeing this and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color (also playing at the IFC Center) as the most ambitious and challenging double feature you’re likely to see in your life. The filmmakers will all be on hand Friday and Saturday to discuss their movies afterwards as well.