[Simon is a well-educated, handsome and seemingly sympathetic college graduate with just a hint of something off putting enough to ignite a sense of concern. Recently heartbroken, Simon travels to Paris to clear his head. After several days of wandering aimlessly, Simon finds himself drawn into a sex parlor and has a sexual encounter with an exotic prostitute, Victoria. The chemistry builds between the two until they find themselves in a serious relationship, one that leads to blackmail, betrayal and the ultimate revelation of Simon’s true nature.]
A 2012 Sundance selection, Simon Killer, one was one of the movies I couldn’t stop hearing about after the festival. From the seemingly brilliant mind of Antonio Campos, director of the critically acclaimed Martha Marcy May Marlene (which put Elizabeth Olsen on the map), comes to seemingly comparably intense examination of a person’s psyche… this time to potentially murderous proportions. What I’m getting from the trailer is that this movie will be punctuated with an equally heart-pounding soundtrack. Simon Killer hits US theaters on April 5th and will be available On Demand April 12th.
..or “How the French taught me what to do with my tongue”
A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Valencia on a business trip after my trip to Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival. To get there, we didn’t have a direct flight so we choose Paris as our layover city. We flew AirFrance there which meant I got to see a great selection of French and French-inspired films for free (tip: if your french is limited (like mine is) don’t let’s say, ask for a pen in French to the flight attendants; they will continue to speak French to you the whole trip, lol). We also had an overnight layover in Paris coming back, which if you can get through the awful and totally confusing Charles de Gaulle airport, can be a great place to kill some hours. I had only previously been to Paris once for a couple of days so any additional time spent in that captivating city is a plus for me. Here are some highlights from my brushes with all things French.
The Eiffel Tower. One of my co-workers had never been to Paris or had seen the Eiffel Tower so of course we had to go there. It’s so beautiful when it’s all lit up at night.
Croque-Monsiuer. I’ve done the “go to Paris and have crepes” thing (by the way, SO the way to go), but this time I decided to have something else the French are known for and that is a fancy grilled ham and cheese sandwich ::smile:: We stopped at this little cafe by the Eiffel Tower that was so very good.
Rust and Bone. I’m so glad I didn’t bother to pay to see the screening at TIFF since I got to see it for free on the plane. This French film had been getting alot of buzz on the festival circuit, but for some reason, the trailer didn’t really appeal to me. I decided to check it out on the plane though and it was very… interesting. Marion Cotillard was definitely the best part of the film, playing a whale trainer (Stephanie) who looses her legs after a whale crashes into her. In her recovery, she connects (over and over physically, I might add ::smile::) with a down-and-out bouncer/kickboxer (Ali). While she is physically disabled, he is emotionally disabled, a father of young son who can’t seem to take care of him or himself. For me, I couldn’t fully invest in their emotional relationship which represented the bulk of the film but was more entranced in her inner battle with forgiveness and acceptance with the creatures she trained. For me, those were the great moments.
Moonrise Kingdom. Not a French movie but one very much French-inspired as the alot of songs on the soundtrack French songs, including the song featured in the original trailer, “Le Temps De L’amour” by Françoise Hardy. This is also a film, directed by Wes Anderson, that in a short time has become beloved by alot of cinephiles. I never claim to really knowledgable about his films since I’ve only seen a couple, but I have always been drawn to his unique style. The film focuses on a couple of pre-teens on a New England island who experience first love with each other and subsequently, run away together at the chagrin of her parents and his summer camp leader. Though I really enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. I do applaud Wes Anderson for always staying through to his vision. My favorite Wes Anderson film will probably forever be his French-inspired short film Hotel Chevalier.
The Piano Tuner. Loved this. It represented just how great storytelling can be packed into less than 15 minutes. The story focuses on a young piano prodigy who, after failing in a competition, gives up playing and tunes pianos for a living. As a way to escape from his own shortcomings and disconnect from the world, he pretends to be blind. One day though, his seeing things he should not see becomes a danger to him. This is some great stuff. If you are interested in watching it, see the full short film here.