Boog City: Film Review: "The Incoherents" -
The women of this film are all spectacular and proof of yet another revolution that came, and some are still waking up to. ... Jillie Simon is, as Chrissie, the adorable celestial force that keeps her man from getting picked apart at the seams. -Todd Connor https://wordpress.boogcity.com/boog-city-paper/boog-city-136/film/dont-call-it-a-comeback/ fbclid=IwAR2c4AXL_E_0YI9OeWCztOL7GKmr1MFF3iZXqqa13nfjSU_N1LqJlsbhQcE
FILMNET on “A Chance”:
The film navigates the complex waters of past and present connections, offering a poignant reminder that the journey of love is seldom smooth, yet undeniably worth the voyage.
From the very first frame, "A Chance" captivates the audience with its visually arresting cinematography. The directors have a keen eye for detail, capturing the essence of the city park where the protagonists, Mia (Jillie Simon) and Caroline (Karen Irwin), reunite. The park serves not just as a backdrop, but as a silent witness to the unfolding drama, its vibrant hues mirroring the emotional roller-coaster that the characters undergo. The meticulous framing and composition of each scene are nothing short of a visual poetry, inviting the viewers to immerse themselves fully in the narrative.
The narrative unfolds with a reunion that is both tender and fraught with underlying tensions. As Mia and Caroline navigate through their resurrected conflicts and burgeoning sparks, the audience is treated to a masterclass in acting. The performances are nuanced and deeply affecting, with each actress bringing a raw vulnerability to their roles. Their chemistry is palpable, creating a magnetic pull that keeps the viewers invested in their journey. The directors, Simon and Arabatzis, have managed to extract performances that are both authentic and riveting, making the emotional arc of the characters believable and relatable.
The story, grounded in the universal themes of love and relationships, resonates profoundly with the audience. It explores the notion that love is not a linear journey, but a labyrinthine path filled with twists and turns. The screenplay is adept at portraying the messy, complicated, and sometimes painful realities of love, without losing sight of its inherent beauty and potential for healing. The dialogues are crisp and resonate with a deep understanding of human emotions, making the narrative both compelling and heart-wrenching.
"A Chance" also shines in its execution of style. The film adopts a realistic approach, allowing the raw emotions to take center stage. The directors have skillfully avoided the trap of melodrama, instead opting for a restrained and subtle portrayal of the complexities of human relationships. The pacing is perfect, with each scene building upon the previous one, creating a crescendo of emotions that culminates in a climax that is both satisfying and thought-provoking.
The visuals in "A Chance" are nothing short of breathtaking. The cinematography (by Thomas Simon) paints a vivid picture of the emotional landscape of the characters, with each frame telling a story of its own. The use of lighting and color palette enhances the mood of the film, creating a visual language that communicates the underlying emotions with a powerful impact. The visuals are complemented by a soundtrack (also by Thomas Simon) that is both evocative and haunting, adding another layer to the rich tapestry of the film.
In conclusion, "A Chance" is a film that is not to be missed. It is a cinematic gem that offers a deep and insightful exploration of love and relationships. The directors, Jillie Simon and Ange Arabatzis, have crafted a film that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant. The performances are top-notch, with the lead actresses delivering performances that are both powerful and nuanced. The story, grounded in the universal truths of love and relationships, offers a message of hope and resilience, reminding us that love, despite its complexities, is worth fighting for.
Knockturnal Magazine - Film Review: ‘Hungry’
I found the film charming in the way it depicts its story... you’ll find that the film tells a noble story and does so with courage–just like its heroine. Most of the film’s charm comes from the performance of the actors, particularly Jillie Simon, who also wrote the film’s script, amongst her other contributions. As portrayed by Simon, Allison is someone that anyone would want to have as their elementary school teacher. Eric Roberts, as Congressman Thicke, shows that he has not lost an ounce of the charisma that made him a major Hollywood player in the first place. ‘Hungry’ is an ambitious short film about a person who, despite her obstacles, will do anything to fight for the rights of her students. ... Simon tells her story with compassion and sincerity, and that makes it worth a recommendation. Hungry will have its next screening at the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) in in Bellmore, Long Island. If you are around Long Island, be sure to check it out! I bet you will be hungry for more from Jillie Simon! - Jake King https://theknockturnal.com/film-review-hungry/
The Independent Critic: Review of "Hungry"
--Inspirational Short "Hungry" Picks Up Fest Awards
Jillie Simon (A Beautiful Mind) stars as a well-meaning teacher with a fear of speaking up in public, unless her students are involved, in the 20-minute short film Hungry, a feel-good short that has picked up 14 awards at 33 fests so far with a decidedly pro-kid message that is destined to be popular. ...Hungry has picked up a slew of festival awards, a good number of them having to do with the film's undeniably inspirational message and overall feel-good tone. Simon has a bit of a Mary Steenburgen quality about her, her higher-pitched voice matching her character's unbridled enthusiasm and complete and utter sincerity. -Richard Propes - https://theindependentcritic.com/hungry
Arts Is Alive Magazine - Indie Film Review: "Hungry"-
"...When it comes to political dramas, things probably do not get any sweeter than the story telling in Hungry. In this case, sweet does not mean sugar-coated, but instead heart-warming. The filmmaker supports standing up for oneself to make a change, should classic politics fail to help. This is a more intelligent route instead of choosing to make a clear distinction along party lines and drive the message home with a sledge hammer. Jillie Simon gives her all portraying a highly relatable lead with everyday problems on top of everything else. Her secondary duty as director hands her challenges that are really palpable, yet her creative talents help Simon produce a successful film project. With all that said, keep your tissues handy. Spoiler Alert: the heart-warming ending will probably make you shed a tear or three. - Michael Haberfelner https://theartisalivemagazine.com/indie-film-review-hungry/
Gornoblonde: Review of "Hungry"
Hoboken International Film Festival 2016 Spotlight: Indie Darling Jillie Simon
Lovably endearing and supremely talented Jillie Simon will leave viewers desiring her as they embrace her entertaining feature this week. ... As you will discover from watching the films that are screening at this edition of the Hoboken Film Fest, the invasion of the ravishing redheads fronted by the delightful Jillie is upon us. You might suggest she’s indeed crave-worthy considering she directed as well as wrote “Hungry” and breathes such ebullience into this fascinatingly touching story as the screen heroine. Her representation of positivity (be it in a fictional sense) is so needed in this era of uneasiness and she is very much the heart of what is a tale of hope. In 2015, Jillie won the Award of Merit for her leading role in “Hungry” at the The Indie Fest Film Awards and do expect plenty more commendations to come her way whether in trophy form or critical praise. She’s endowed with that undeniable jovial spark, holding her in good stead whenever she brings the funny to audiences. Jillie is one of the most cultured actresses of the moment and is all set to thread the golden path of indie fandom." - Haren Yong https://gornoblonde.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/hoboken-international-film-festival-2016-spotlight-indie-darling-jillie-simon/
Concrete Rose Magazine: Film : "Hungry" -written, co-directed and co-produced by Jillie Simon
This short film is about a grade school teacher who has a fear of speaking up in public (other than in front of her kids). But when she finds out that children in her school are going hungry because of federal cutbacks in the school lunch programs, it compels her to do things she wouldn't have thought she could do, including confronting a Congressman, in order to help the children. ... The director did a brilliant job by incorporating the children and the NYC landscape into the film, giving it a level of depth not seen in many "Hollywood" films. The lead actress Jillie Simon played the idealistic teacher role perfectly, giving the audience a sense of compassion for her cause. ... The final outcome was a promising one, our fearful teacher stood next to a cause she believed in and overcame her fears to win a battle for the defenseless. - Chris Perez
KidsFirst! Review of "Hungry": - More power to shy people! This film shows that brave voices can be heard and can make a difference in this world. Grassroots movements can sway politicians! This is a great reminder that government is meant to be "for the people." Allison (Jillie Simon), the grade school teacher, is quite the heroine in this film. She encourages her students to speak up and communicate their various concerns to adults. At the same time, she's a strong advocate for justice and change. She's great at respectfully telling others how to right their wrongs. Her efforts at improving people's lives are supported by her boyfriend, who shows her genuine love. The arrogance of Congressman Eric Roberts is truly irritating, as he tries to push his weight around. ... Once the news media catches him in the act of abusing power, he changes his tune and supports Allison's pro-lunch program pitch. I really enjoyed the peppy and energetic musical score by Thomas Simon. It truly enhances the film's impact in a positive way. The camera work and editing are very well done. I give credit to the filmmaker for excellent audio recording and direction. The cast is well chosen as well. Allison's personality is very bubbly. She has a great mix of positive work ethic, social consciousness and a fun relationship with her boyfriend. My favorite part of the film is seeing the school kids strike for the reinstatement of their suspended teacher. Their passion is admirable! What a powerful way to spend recess! The message of this film speaks of the importance of caring for our children, both locally and internationally. Many kids from disadvantaged families show up at school undernourished and hungry, and it adversely impacts their ability to focus and learn. For example, it is difficult for them to function at a high level if they don't get proper amounts of protein. Government programs should at least subsidize protein-rich meals. Likewise, the government should pass and enforce regulations to help preserve our environment. I truly enjoyed this film and highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially any that have a focus on social issues or education. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. -Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror. https://www.kidsfirst.org/detail/218173.html
NY POST : "Cocaine Dreams", Kraine Theater
“There’s one great idea in the play “Cocaine Dreams...the inspired notion of having an actress (Jill Simon) portray the drug, behaving like a highly seductive mistress. The idea works; Simon couldn’t be better, and the play is very effective in making cocaine appear desirable.”
BACKSTAGE : "Cocaine Dreams", Kraine Theater
"Then appears a lithe woman clad ( in a ) white dress, a physical manifestation of the drug... portrayed by Jill Simon as a wonderfully physical and mute seductress.” - Sarika Chawla
SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE on "Agnes of God", Florida Studio Theater
"Agnes calls for an actress who can portray confused childlike innocence. Amanda Plummer did it on Broadway and Jill (Simon) does it here. As Agnes she is all nerves and wide eyed wonder as she describes her visions... suggests the horrors of her childhood before the facts are ever stated. Jill (Simon's) performance is, at times, stunning."
NY NEWSDAY : LOVE ALIEN at CBGB's
LOVE THAT FUSION: Their band is like a fusion of Screaming Trees and Sophie B Hawkins. They have a slightly grungy psychedelic sound, and Jill (Simon) has a sensuous stage presence and breathy vocals that seem to owe a bit to performance art. It's an intriguing and original sound that is often riveting." -Martin Johnson
CMJ New Music Report - JACKPOT! : LOVE ALIEN
- FUTURES - Take Pat Benatar, cross her with Souxie Souix, dress her in a thrift shop burial gown, and the result might look and sound something like Jill... Love Alien's resident goth/goddess. (Jill) has been garnering rave reviews ( and probably more than her share of stalkers) as front-person for this busy NYC combo. The band itself musically quotes everyone from Echo & the Bunnymen to Love & Rockets, filtering it all through a Bauhausian psychedelic vibe. The electric buzz of the band's sound, combined with (Jill) 's cooing, forms a spiraling blend of solid... musical ideas. (Jill) 's voice would sound right at home at the bottom of some trip-hop groove or even (if produced properly) in the Top 40 dance-pop arena. Together, these two disparate elements - band and vocalist - combine to create a sound all their own; call it trip -grunge or maybe, grunge-hop. Whatever the label... if this wiry ensemble can capitalize on their own strengths, they might just escape the gravitational pull of New York's dark underbelly and explode into the limelight." - Greg Correo
Legends Magazine review of LOVE ALIEN -"In The Waves"
"...a tasty mix of fuzzy, funky, jammy and grungy guitars and Jill's pure angelic voice... The music on the album is so good and Jill's voice is so pretty I had no choice but like it and listen again and again and again. If you need a positive and soulful change of pace, from your hard rock or hip- hop...give Love Alien a listen...mixes well with mellow grunge, Neil Young, Kate Bush, Phish and Tori Amos."
ROCK REVOLT MAGAZINE - Interview
“Interview with Jillie and Thomas Simon, September 2013; click on the link, front page of Magazine will open, then proceed to page 86 for full interview.” - Rob Ryles
ZIARUL Clujeanului, Transilvania, Romania, on Musiciens Sans Frontieres:
"The band's powerful recital started around 10pm and it lasted until midnight when the audience called them back on stage for an encore. For the audience this was an opportunity to sense the difference between Romanian and American bands and Thomas Simon's sound was exceptional. Stage presence was also at the highest level as singer Jillie Simon has worked in television and is also an actress. Her acting experience was clearly visible and she is for the most part responsible for the great show that Thomas Simon Musiciens Sans Frontieres had to offer."
B24-Fun, Bucharest, Romania on Musiciens Sans Frontieres:
" ...the band is a great indie rock traveler since they came to perform in front of the "Utopian" audience from Bucharest. On stage, Jillie Simon is the feminine voice that counterbalances Thomas Simon's rough vocals. I think she usually wears white and she is always almost painfully sensual... most of the reviews describe her as being "the light in the dark atmosphere" of the band's music. She has a delicate voice that seems to penetrate dramatically more than musically - like Melanie's voice did, if anyone still remembers her. The band is more than just a geographical wanderer, they also stroll through different musical territories - critics mention the Dead Can Dance tribalism, the Nine Inch Nails twilight, Moby's funk, etc. This means that, as their French name discloses, they are diligently tearing down frontiers; only that which they globalize is not commercial waste. "
Infinity Press (on LOVE ALIEN)
"The band's secret weapon is exotic vocalist Jill (Simon), who spins together a chanteuse style of glimmer and fury and commands a stage presence of erotic force. ...a holdback from a rock star mold which required a woman to look her best, yet have the talent to back up her flawless image. The songs throw together the best elements of each player, pulling toward Simon's deep vocals in one chorus while anchored down in Francois Gehin's throbbing bass the next. (Jill's) songs are equally excitable, as she drives her sticky sweet vocals into the heart of the... Love Alien rock machine. " - Joey Zielazinski
Network of the World (NOW) UK on LOVE ALIEN
“one of the most promising up & comers in the N.Y. scene”
"The group cut it's teeth in Europe, performing around the continent to appreciative crowds and garnering the support of the European press (written up in Finnish music mag RYTMI and various Austrian papers). Love Alien has been equally well received here in the states, having just completed a successful US tour which took them through 12 cities and appearances at a number of high profile clubs like CBGB's and Webster Hall. Love Alien plays to the gap between goth and grunge - then effortlessly slips in and begins building a slender bridge for the daring to walk across. Love Alien's sound is both beautiful and heavy, dark and soaring - tension and release. Musically, the band nods to everyone from Love and Rockets to Iggy Pop to Screaming Trees, blanketing a rock-solid rhythm section with a psychedelic wash of buzzing guitar. (Jill's) sensuous stage presence and ethereal cooing vocals - somewhere between Souxie Sioux and the Cocteau Twins - complete the package..." - Joe Collier
Jersey Beat review of LOVE ALIEN - Blue Planet Preview
Grunged-up, highly ominous and uniquely psychedelicized Gothic-style sonic rumbling. Jill (Simon)'s haunting, purring moan and Thomas Simon's husky growl trade off on the vocals, complementing each other beautifully. Simon's searing, fiercely lingering guitar rifts, Lior Shulman's gutty drums, and Francois Gehin's dense, bottom-heavy bass lines vividly create a calmly flowing, throbbing, very brooding and sinister aural witch's brew that's every bit as creepy and compelling as it ought to be. - Joe Wawyrzniak