Stream these: “Something in the Air,” “Simon Killer,” “Shadow Dancer,” and “Aftershock”

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Netflix Instant often seems to go weeks without anything truly exciting … and then several drop on top of each other. A few newbies worth checking out are summarized here. Of the four, the only one I have seen is “Something in the Air,” a TIFF12 entry that I have been dying to see again. “Aftershock” looks dodgiest, while “Simon Killer” appears to be the most divisive, and “Shadow Dancer” the most emotionally affecting.

“Simon Killer”: “The follow-up to Antonio Campos’ critically acclaimed AFTERSCHOOL, SIMON KILLER is an erotic and and psychological portrait of Simon (Brady Corbet, MELANCHOLIA, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE), a well-educated, handsome and seemingly sympathetic college graduate with just a hint of something off putting enough to ignite a sense of concern. Recently heartbroken, Simon travels to Paris to clear his head. After several days of wandering aimlessly, Simon finds himself drawn into a sex parlor and has a sexual encounter with an exotic prostitute, Victoria (Mati Diop, 35 SHOTS OF RUM). The chemistry builds between the two until they find themselves in a serious relationship, one that leads to blackmail, betrayal and the ultimate revelation of Simon’s true nature.” (Summary from IFCfilms.com)

“Shadow Dancer”: James Marsh (“Man On Wire”) directs, Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough star. “When a young mother and true believer from a violent IRA family is captured by British spies, she is forced to betray everything she believes in for the sake of her son in this taut, high-stakes thriller.” (Summary from Magnolia Pictures)

“Aftershock”: Chile has it all: gorgeous landscapes, smokin’- hot women, cool dudes, great wine, and the wildest parties. For a hapless American tourist, nicknamed Gringo (Eli Roth) by his two Chilean pals Ariel (Ariel Levy) and Pollo (Nicolás Martínez), the trip has been heaven on earth — except that he just can’t hook up with the ladies. Gringo’s luck seems to change when the group meets a trio of babes — Russian model Irina (Natasha Yarovenko), non-stop party girl Kylie (Lorenza Izzo) and her serious sister Monica (Andrea Osvárt) — who agree to accompany them on a trip to the coastal town of Valparaíso. The new friends are having the best of times whooping it up in a dance club, until a violent earthquake brings the entire city down around them. With this one-time paradise now a landscape of death and destruction that’s seething with terror and panic, our unlucky heroes must run for their lives from looters, escaped convicts, and the inevitable aftershocks.” (Summary from aftershock-film.com)

“Something in the Air”: In the months after the heady weeks of May ’68, a group of young people search for a way to continue the revolution believed to be just beginning. For Gilles (newcomer Clément Mettayer), this means having to balance his political commitments with his desire to explore painting and filmmaking; for his girlfriend Christine (Goodbye, First Love star Lola Créton), this means throwing herself wholeheartedly into the task of organizing. Olivier Assayas (Carlos,Summer Hours) here describes the sentimental education of a generation that was too young to have been on the barricades; he brilliantly captures its explorations of new lifestyles, the arguments about strategies and tactics, and above all its music, a constant presence that becomes something like the artistic unconscious of an era. The period details are perfect, but what makes this film so special is the sense it conveys of history as lived experience.” (Summary from IFCfilms.com)

Courtesy of IFC Films