“There’s a lot derisive feelings about the film,” he told the MoMA aud before the screening. “You may like this guy Simon. And that’s OK. That’s fine. You may laugh and that’s OK, too.”
Both Campos and co-writer/lead Brady Corbet brought in several of their family and friends, whom Corbet acknowledged, “May have a very difficult experience watching this film.”
Campos also thanked his parents, who “gave me all of the things I’ve needed to make my dark movies.”
At the Jane Ballroom afterparty, while guests snacked on Ray’s pizza, Campos explained his attraction to the “dark side” with pics like “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and the aptly titled “Simon Killer.”
“When I was a kid the thing I reacted to most was honesty in movies and things I hadn’t really seen before,” Campos said. “Sometimes the darker stuff is what you don’t often see in movies.”
“The whole movie is about this character’s lack of empathy,” Corbet said. “He’s also a product of this generation — someone who doesn’t take his earbuds out to actually experience the city and really, genuinely try to communicate with anyone. He’s always talking to people, he doesn’t listen to them.”
Campos also talked about his exclusive prep-school upbringing and how it helped shaped his perspective.
“It definitely informed a type of hypocrisy,” he noted. “The hypocrisy of the system between the way that they treated kids with money and without money was really blatant and shocking and cemented a certain cynicism in me about things and what people with money can get away with and what people without money can’t. One of the seeds for the story of Simon was Joran van der Sloot, who was a rich Dutch kid who got away with the murder of Natalee Holloway. I think in some way that all connects.”