Critics’ Week Winner Is Wholly Original


Simon has a powerful twitch that drives him to shake his head, meaninglessly. He generally dribbles. The manner he seems to be out on the world from beneath his brows, particularly when persons are speaking to him, suggests he can’t fairly sustain with what they’re saying. When he meets a bunch of younger individuals from a neighborhood daycare middle for the intellectually disabled, he naturally falls in with them. He befriends Pehuen Pedre (enjoying a model of himself) on the highest of a mountain, the place the group has walked and gotten into difficulties in excessive winds. When all of them handle to get down and again on the bus, Simon will get on board with them. This is the place he belongs. 

Simon of the Mountain, Argentinian director Federico Luis’ shifting, puzzling and wholly unique debut function, which received the highest prize at Critics’ Week in Cannes, is a callback to Luis Bunuel’s 1965 basic Simon of the Desert. Bunuel’s movie, shot in Mexico, is an anti-clerical lampooning of a saintly ascetic, Simeon Stylites, who apparently sat on high of a pillar within the desert for a number of years to point out his devotion to God. Luis’ Simon isn’t dedicated to something, however he appears additionally to have chosen a path of denial.  

What is flawed with Simon? His mom (Laura Nevole) alternates between telling him to snap out of it and imploring him to speak to her, to clarify why he’s doing this, why he has chosen to befriend these outsiders, why he’s so belligerent. Her boyfriend Agustin (Agustin Toscano, additionally certainly one of Luis’ two co-writers), who drives a shifting truck for a dwelling and is variety sufficient to make use of erratic Simon, is not going to intrude.  

At first, Simon’s mom appears as depraved because the character of Satan who seems to tempt Bunuel’s Simon off his pillar. How might any mom be so merciless as to badger, mock and accuse a younger man — he’s 22, even when his petulance and impetuosity are usually infantile types of resistance – who has to stay with incapacity in a uniformly in a position world? Is she merely ashamed of him? Summoned to the daycare middle the place Simon has settled in with out truly being enrolled, she says she doesn’t perceive what she’s doing there.  

And but. And but! When we see Simon on a house video as just a little boy, he’s romping together with his father as Dad prompts his articulate toddler to spout strains from Hamlet. “Your head didn’t shake then,” observes Colo (Kiara Supini), his particular buddy from the middle. “No, that was after the medication,” Simon mumbles. It is a catch-all excuse that ought to work. His new gang could stay at a take away from the world, however chemical habits modification is a part of the foreign money of that sequestered existence. Colo clearly sees straight by this, however she shares along with her pals the spontaneity that Simon clearly craves; she merely doesn’t care.  

Lorenzo Ferro is extraordinary as Simon. We be taught nearly nothing about his previous; his future hangs within the air. There is simply his current, throwing himself into loopy video games with the daycare set, shyly letting adolescent Colo flirt with him whereas making it clear that he, not less than, isn’t prepared for intercourse, and going to the films free of charge with Pehuen, who is aware of all of the methods (and certainly taught them to the director, who was a drama trainer in a middle just like the one within the movie; Pehuen was certainly one of his college students). 

The hand-held digital camera follows Ferro carefully; we by no means tire of his face, questioning what temper or expression will erupt subsequent. It continues to be the face of that harmless little Hamlet. To be or to not be? Simon appears to have determined to not interact with slings, arrows or a sea of troubles. Instead, he stays on high of his pillar, perpetually coming of age. In the tip, who can blame him? 

Title: Simon of the Mountain
Festival: Cannes (Critics’ Week)
Director: Federico Luis
Screenwriters: Federico Luis, Tomas Murphy, Agustin Toscano
Sales agent: Luxbox
Cast: Lorenzo Ferro, Kiara Supini, Pehuen Pedre 
Running time: 1 hr 38 min


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