Brent Simon is a regular contributor to Screen Daily, Playboy, Magill's Cinema Annual and ShockYa, among many other outlets.
A former three-term president and current member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Simon has contributed to a wide variety of publications, including Paste, Vulture,
IGN, Rotten Tomatoes, H Magazine, FilmStew and Reelz. He has worked with AFI Fest; served on juries at City of Lights, City of Angels (COL•COA), Method Fest and
many other film festivals; and also served in an advisory capacity on various film programming endeavors. SharedDarkness.com is his online blog, and he thanks you for stopping by.
Filmmaker Gus Van Sant, even at 59 years old, looks like the sort of guy who should be wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a hoodie. In face, body language and spirit, he retains a certain boyishness — perhaps in some small way infused, throughout the years, by his thematic preoccupation with unconventional romance and coming-of-age stories, and the idea of surrogate family. Restless, his latest effort behind the camera, and the first since Sean Penn scored a Best Actor Oscar for Milk, treads this same familiar ground, but to mostly pleasurable if still rather fleeting effect. A tenderly stylistic evocation of young love wrapped inside a New Wave-esque bundle of wistfulness and nervous, under-the-surface energy, it's a movie whose graceful direction doesn't merely trump its plotting, but instead helps elevate it. A kind of arthouse mash-up of Sweet November, One Day and Love and Other Drugs, Restless is a well constructed little diorama, but one whose elicited feelings do not, alas, linger. For the full, original review, from ShockYa, click here. (Sony Pictures Classics/Imagine Entertainment, PG-13, 95 minutes)