Blu-Ray Review: Demonlover

Olivier Assayas has always been a writer and director overflowing with ideas. Since his directorial debut Disorder in 1986, the Frenchman has consistently produced challenging and interesting films. However, they didn’t always come together to make a cohesive whole. With Personal Shopper and Clouds of Sils Maria he’s now proving to be one of the most audacious and exciting living French filmmakers. Back in 2002 he made Demonlover, which is one of his most polarising films.

Diane de Monx (Connie Nielsen) is an executive determined to get ahead. Her company is negotiating for international rights of a Japanese studio’s adult anime productions. She takes matters into her own hands, ensuring her boss (Dominique Reymond) is out of the picture. Working with her (now) partner (Charles Berling) and embittered assistant (Chloë Sevigny) they must negotiate an agreement with Elaine Si Gibril’s (Gina Gershon) American internet company, Demonlover. Rumour has it they operate a disturbing clandestine website.

Demonlover is an exceedingly prescient and stylistically rancorous neon-tinged pulp thriller. Assayas uses contemporary music (including a score from Sonic Youth), real hentai and outlandish visuals to daze and confuse. At times it’s a difficult watch and as it goes on it becomes increasingly enigmatic. Having said that, Demonlover has a lot to say and does so in a range of innovative and often strange ways. It won’t be for everyone but it’s certainly not boring.

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

Demonlover is available on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy now.

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