Directed and Written by Olivier Assayas
Music by Sonic Youth
Cast: Connie Nielsen, Charles Berling, Chloe Sevigny, Gina Gershon, Edwin Gerard, Jean-Baptiste Malarte, Dominique Reymond, Abi Sakamoto & Nao Ohmori
2002/120 mins/Color/5.1 Dolby Digital
2.35:1 anamorphic/French/France/PAL Region 2
Review from the Warner Bros. DVD
On a plane back from a business trip, the tall and icy Diane (the dropdead gorgeous and fav of mine Connie Nielsen) has her superior poisoned, abducted and mugged for confidential papers, that way she will take over the negociations. Diane works for the Volf Group, who along with Herve (Charles Berling) are trying to get the international rights to Japanese animated porn (hentai) from TokyoAnime (who's headed by Nao Ohmori who you will remember as Ichi in Takashi Miike's ICHI THE KILLER). For a few days everything is going as plan for her until a note appears on her desk saying "Haven't you forgot something?" From there she starts to loose control of the situation and becomes a victim.
The Volf Group is trying to set a deal with an American company behind the much successful web site Demonlover. The company behind Demonlover, represented here by the equally gorgeous and sensual Gina Gershon, desperately wants the rights to the animated porn so they will take out of business their number one competitor, Mangatronics. The thing is that Diane is actually working for Mangatronics and she's a spy who infiltrated the Volf Group.
The deal is about to be made but the owner of the Volf Group makes a stunning statement during the negociations when he expose the fact that the people behind Demonlover are supposedly behind an interactive snuff/torture web site called "Hell Fire Club". From there the story turns into conspiracy, abductions, double crosses, murders, escape, tortures, multiple twists and way too many unanswered questions.
Director Olivier Assayas (IRMA VEP) delivers a very cold, feverish and sadistic film with an incomprehensible structure and psycho-sexual look of the 21st century. Denis Lenoir stunning cinematography gives the film a very unique and claustrophobic look while Sonic Youth's loud, noisy, aggressive and industrial music gives it an extreme soundtrack. Assayas was obviously inspired by David Cronenberg's masterpiece, VIDEODROME.
During its world premiere at Cannes, the film was 129 minutes. Some edits and modifications were made to torture scenes for a 116 minutes version for the North American release. This French DVD from France is 120 minutes long.
Warner Bros. gave a royal DVD treatment to DEMONLOVER. First of all, the film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and it is anamorphic. The colors are amazingly well rendered with cold blues and a crystal clear look. The 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track sounds amazing. The score from Sonic Youth greatly shines through the film, its loud and clear. We get a very good and informative 55 minutes Making-Of documentary which goes pretty much into all the details of the film, taking a look at locations, acting, fx, cast and crew. There's also a 30 minutes documentary on the making of the soundtrack by Sonic Youth. We see them in studio, experimenting and discussing with the director. There is four good interviews with Connie Nielsen, Charles Berling, Chloe Sevigny and Olivier Assayas. We can also take a look at the Hell Fire Club web site. We also get the teaser trailer and trailer. There is also a very informative and detailed commentary track with the director who goes into all the smallest details behind the making of the film. The menus look awesome, have animation, morphing and sounds. Take note that after you watch the documentaries you'll get two codes that will enable you to open an easter egg. This is a french film and unfortunately there is no English subtitles available, only french. The film is separated in only 12 chapters, comes in a very nice digipack and with a rather useless Warner Bros. catalogue.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2003. ©