- Olivier Assayas
- February 19, 2021 through March 4, 2021
“Movie of the Moment … At once illness and antidote, wound and knife, chilling and fascinating — in short, demonic and loving—Demonlover is a beautiful and disturbing contemporary filmic object.”Serge Kaganski, Film Comment
In French arthouse cinema at the turn of the new millennium, there was a trend toward the transgressive that earned the name (slash content warning) “New French Extremity.” Director Olivier Assayas joined the company of other “Extreme” auteurs (Gaspar Noé, Bruno Dumont, Catherine Breillat, and Claire Denis among them) with this gnarly 2002 techno-thriller. A feverish tale of corporate espionage and adult entertainment in the burgeoning online era, Demonlover centres on the activities of a spy (Connie Nielsen) infiltrating the ranks of a multinational media conglomerate vying for control of the Japanese hentai (or anime porn) dot-com market. As she goes deeper and more dangerously undercover, the distinctions between ally and enemy, reality and fiction, start to blur. Assayas’s polarizing film, rife with noir nihilism and a censor-goading supply of sex, violence, and sadomasochism, gained a cult following for its prescient vision of a disturbing, dark-web future. Sonic Youth wrote the score; Chloë Sevigny and Gina Gershon feature in the cast. This 2K restoration is of the unrated director’s cut.
“Gripping and provocative.” Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
“[A] brilliant, bleak work.” Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
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Advisory: Includes scenes of graphic sex and violence.