Brent Simon is a regular contributor to Screen International, Magill's Cinema Annual and ShockYa, among many other outlets, and serves as film editor at H Magazine.
A three-term president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Simon has contributed to many online sites, including New York Magazine's Vulture, IGN, Rotten Tomatoes, FilmStew and
Reelz. He has worked with AFI Fest, served as a juror on COLCOA and many other film festivals (plus a nasty three-week criminal trial), and is currently working on a book project. 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)