After being relatively quiet following the icy Haneke-inspired “Afterschool,” New York director Antonio Campos returns with not one, but two directing projects.
First off will be “Simon Killer,” starring Brady Corbet (“Funny Games,” “Mysterious Skin“) and Mati Diop (Claire Denis’ excellent “35 Shots of Rum“). Lensing wrapped in the fall and producers are likely eying a Cannes premiere, as the Frenchians seem to love the guy (he was awarded the Cinefondation program, where he wrote “Afterschool”). Corbet plays a young male who retreats to Paris following a nasty break up, but finds himself falling for Diop’s character and becoming entranced in the seedy underbelly of Paris. Corbet’s been relatively quiet lately, showing up in TV and short works, but this will finally see him return to feature work and in a leading role. He will also appear in Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” which Campos will be producing with fellow Borderline Films mate Josh Mond, in 2012.
Fall 2011 will bring Campos’ long-gestating “Momma” to fruition, a project which he has been gabbing about since “Afterschool” appeared at the New York Film Festival in 2008. Focusing on the relationship between a mother and son throughout a period of 30 years, the tale is not only more personal for the filmmaker, but a much more ambitious one given the large time frame. Judging from his first and what little we know of the second, this will also find the New Yorker in a compassionate tone, unless his mother was this chick.
We weren’t wild about his debut, finding it a little too cold when we saw it at NYFF (this writer thought the direction and writing were forced more often than not), but Campos did show exciting promise in some areas, particularly with his confident visual aesthetic. If he managed to smooth out his rough spots, the next few years of independent American cinema could be suplexed by his clique’s work. Hey, we’re all for it. [IonCinema]