A lot can be said in regard to our relationship with technology,sexuality and the extreme blur between. David Cronenberg began the modern conversation on this with VIDEODROME. Director Olivier Assayas continued that conversation with DEMON LOVER. Part onslaught of visual images, part neo noir fable, it is a heck of a ride inside the mind of a being obsessed by and consumed by technology.
Diane (Connie Nielson) wants to close the deal. What that deal would do for her is set her up for life. She needs an anime company in Japan, to agree to only be distributed in Europe by her company. The problem is that some people do not want this. Her closet allies are often the worst culprits for this. Her assistant (Chloe Sevigny) is out to get her. Porn baron Elaine (Gina Gershon) also wants her out. Will she succeed and win the deal?
The idea itself has been done to death. Many filmmakers obsess over out interaction with technology. When it becomes interesting is when it either makes fantastic this (The Matrix for instance is one) or it disjoints this narrative(VIDEODROME). DEMONLOVER falls into the latter. Blurring the desire of beings to achieve, with the idea of technology as sexual device. To gratify, the agents have to control sex via products. The powerful thing is it disrupts the connection between user, product and supplier. Now Olivier Assayas film fails often to grasp firmly what it is reaching for but when it works best, it is brilliant. The discourse on consumption of graphic, violent and the sexual images of the hellfire club in particular are well contained and asserted without any let up. Overall its a sustained, difficult but often compelling watch.
2K restoration has done little on the ramping up front. The low res images from its 1080p shooting haven’t really been spruced up.
The best three things on the disc?
Well the commentary from Assayas is a data dump of ideas, themes and camera placements. He talks and talks. Q&A with Olivier Assayas is more coherent but less fun as a result. Finally SY NYC 12/12/01: The Demonlover Sessions. For music fans, its a rolicking piece of film music doc stuff.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 2K restoration of the 121-minute director s cut, approved by Olivier Assayas
- High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation
- Original 5.1 DTS-HD master audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Audio commentary by writer/director Olivier Assayas
- New visual essay written and narrated by critic Jonathan Romney
- Peripherie de Demonlover, an hour-long behind-the-scenes documentary directed by Yorick Le Saux
- Archive interviews with Olivier Assayas, Connie Nielsen, Chloe Sevigny and Charles Berling
- SY NYC 12/12/01: The Demonlover Sessions, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the recording of the music score by Sonic Youth
- Q&A with Olivier Assayas filmed at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2003
- Extended version of the Hellfire Club sequence
- Original theatrical trailers
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson