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Demonlover [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Connie Nielsen , Gina Gershon , Olivier Assayas    DVD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Connie Nielsen, Gina Gershon, Chloë Sevigny, Charles Berling, Dominique Reymond
  • Directors: Olivier Assayas
  • Writers: Olivier Assayas
  • Producers: Andres Martin, Claude Davy, Edouard Weil, Jean Coulon, Robin O'Hara
  • Format: Anamorphic, Colour, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Mar 2004
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00019079O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,658 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Demonlover [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Compare this with 'Summer Hours' or 'Les Destinees' and you'll see that Olivier Assayas has as wide a range of styles as any current filmmaker I can think of.

That said, this surreal, intentionally obtuse story of corporate intrigue centering around world domination of anime porn, makes less and less sense, climaxing with an `ironic twist' you can see coming from several miles off, and leaving one with the feeling that the film is slightly less intelligent than one might have hoped.

On the other hand, It did improve on a second viewing. While the ending still bugged me, the odd, slightly irrational middle felt more in control and intentional, more a comment on it's main character than I caught the first time around.

One of those films that can be enjoyed as a high-end, visceral, well made ride, as long as you don't demand perfection or high art.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking 20 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Shockingly bad, that is! It's an interesting concept but is ludicrously transacted. The script, acting and direction are amongst the worst I've seen.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Olivier Assayas View of the Corruption of a Character... 4 Oct 2004
By Kim Anehall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Olivier Assayas creates a visually stunning film in a dark world where multinational corporations invest in anime porn with further interest to invest in 3-dimensional animated pornography. The investments in 3-D pornography attract large amounts of money as several clients seek investment opportunities. This also creates an atmosphere where corporate espionage becomes a tool to maneuver competitors as it could lead to a monopoly on the market of animated pornography. The only thing that drives the people in the business of animated pornography is the trail of money, which becomes a path of greed, violence, and murder.

The story begins on a plane flying from Japan to France where Diane de Monx (Connie Nielsen) poisons one of the executives in her company in order for a rivaling company to gain access to information in a briefcase. This leads Diane into a spiraling exploit as she is put in charge of the Japanese account that manages the business of animated pornography. When she enters the business transaction she is aware that she is being followed by an unknown source. Nonetheless, Diane takes charge of her position and advances through the world of pornography while balancing it carefully with the company and the laws of France. However, she displays no concern for people as she ruthlessly proceeds in order to further her self-interest.

In the environment of Diane's own self-interest there are other people that are also looking out for their own interests by counter-espionage. This leads Diane into a world of internet pornography and sadistic elements of interactive torture over the internet. These people are, however, much more ruthless than Diane as they have no limits to how far they are willing to go in regards to making money.

Demonlover becomes a quagmire of moral values as Connie Nielsen's character wanders a path where she loses herself to pride, greed, and desire. On this path Diane finds herself lost and in a desperate attempt tries to survive as her life soon becomes expandable. Assayas intends to display the corruption of the character and how this corruptive treatment affects the awareness of the character in an uncompromising situation. Initially the story flows smoothly as Diane's life does, but as Diane becomes entangled the story loses itself very much like the character loses itself in the complex environment of deceit and greed. This provides an interesting point of view which is similar to David Lynch's Lost Highway, but Assayas never creates the hallucinatory effect that Lynch does and the film does not regain its balance as it becomes apparent what has happened to Diane.
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Criminally Underrated 24 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Admittedly, DEMONLOVER makes a sharp left narrative turn at the halfway point that's going to confound viewers who are intrigued by the straightforward (and extremely absorbing) high-stakes opening. But that's no reason to dismiss the many, many things that writer/director Olivier Assayas gets absolutely right. In the end, DEMONLOVER is a fascinating mirror-world reflection (as William Gibson would call it) of where our global society might be just five minutes from now: the fittest who survive will be multilingual, career-consumed and ridiculously chic, but also soulless, as if missing the gene that supplies a sense of loyalty and ethics. The movie is a cautionary, though entirely plausible, tale of humans debased by their own lust for ungoverned capitalism. Every line of dialogue is about the business merger at hand; in the rare instances where feelings are discussed, they're usually about how *work* affects those emotions. The big wink here is that the characters don't even discuss business honestly, because each has duplicitous motives.
Technically, DEMONLOVER is a feast. Denis Lenoir's widescreen photography constantly dazzles -- many of the tracking shots are sustained in close-up (creating paranoia), and the color spectrum appears as if filtered through corporate fluorescence. (The neon-drenched Tokyo sequence is particularly hypnotic.) Jump cuts keep the narrative one step ahead of the audience. Sonic Youth's atonal guitar score creates the same mutant environment that Howard Shore pulled off in CRASH. Most significantly, Connie Nielsen's face (and hair and wardrobe) mesmerizes more than any CGI I've ever seen. Considering the labyrinthine motives of her character, Nielsen's exquisite subtlety may be lost on first-time viewers; on second look, her emotionless gaze speaks volumes.
Audiences (and critics) have unanimously attacked the "problematic" second half as an example of directorial self-indulgence. While I agree that it's not as satisfying as the first half, I don't think it's a total crash-and-burn (pardon the spoiler pun). Clearly, the ending is open to thematic interpretation, but I think Assayas is just saying that if our species isn't more careful, we'll end up like one-dimensional characters in a video game of our own devising - sure, winner takes all, but the rest of us suffer enormously.
Narrative ambiguity aside, DEMONLOVER is the great Hitchcockian/Cronenbergian espionage fantasia I've been waiting for. It makes sense that it would come from Europe, since Hollywood forgot long ago how to make their assembly-line genre exercises intellectually stimulating. (Like the animé porn within the story, Hollywood movies today represent no more than a calculated corporate commodity.) More than any other film from the last 2½ years, DEMONLOVER seems a product of the post-9/11 world - a not-so-distant future where overwhelming paranoia goads us to preemptively eliminate any form of potential competition before it can do the same to us. And how in doing so, we devour our own tail.
I expect this movie's reputation will grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.
25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brave New World 7 May 2004
By Diana F. Von Behren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This highly sensual film uses the slick Emma Peel-in-a-skintight-jumpsuit-meets-the-Matrix veneer that most people associate with high stakes business acquisitions, fast cars and corporate espionage . . . and for the first half of the movie, that is exactly what is delivered---intrigue on a multi-national and multi-million dollar level showcased in exquisitely neoned Japan, overseas business class flights and minimalist board rooms. Diane, played to perfection by Connie Nielsen is the Emma Peel of a French investment house intent on acquiring a monopoly on Japanese animated pornography. Perfectly dressed and coiffed, she epitomizes the business woman who has it all: brains, savvy and a polished understated unfluctuating demeanor that make her hard to read and hard to penetrate. We watch her intriguingly non-react as she puts a woman colleague out of commission, discovers that someone else knows what she has done, make deals with an Internet pornography competitor on the metro and all around suppresses her intrinsic sense of womanhood as she stands by and watches----no smiles apologetically----a piece of Japanese anime explicit with enough sexist content to render anyone with the vaguest sense of feminism a bad case of the hives. The fimmaker's vision of people in general in a world consumed by a consumerism so out of control that it feeds off its own negative energy, is blurred; the defining line between men and women eroded by a viciously amoral competition.

Then comes the second half of the movie where so many things seem to happen for no real reason at all. Yes, we can see the varying factions surface as the desire to win control becomes more sharply delineated---but instead of making it all work somehow, where the message, although hidden, can be revealed by some careful consideration, the series of images seem to just run amok. At the end, Diane has reformatted herself a la Laura Croft to deliver the consumer with that which he desires. The message: I am unsure---perhaps intense interplay produces human anime with little sensibility other than winning the competition and delivering product. An unhumbled Diane glares out at the world from a computer screen---is she beaten---no---she has just metamorphed.

This film is not recommended to everyone. Those looking for a fluid plot will not be satisfied with its second half. However, if you enjoy the sense of the real world being shrunk even smaller in a global marketplace where nationality and language are no longer real issues and the Internet serves as a conduit for salving any desire, you may enjoy this director's vision.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dystopia of the New Millenia 3 April 2007
By Austin Hancock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Demonlover is a very modernist film which deserves to be alligned with the great dystopic novels of the previous century, "We", "the Iron Heel", and particularly "1984" with one proviso its primary impact as opposed to literary is videogenic.

It tells the story of a corportate executive, appropriatly female, who will go to any lengths to succeed according to her on self-defined, narcisstic standards at odds with her objective appearances and in stark contrast to others expectations. Brash and domineering she uses a free floating cynicism to treacherously sell her corporate secrets to others for monetary gain thinking self-assuredly that her private intrique and machinations are curiously invioable, just as many criminals do. This is the first half of the film, in the second part of which so many critics don't like, all this ballsy swagger is shown to be an act of utter self-deluding fantasy; she has underestimated her antagonist and she instead of manipulating the system for her own gain she devolves into a most contemptible slave to it. A powerful morality tale for the times.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gripping though elusive hallucinatory trance - drugs helpful 29 Dec 2004
By Natalie Cray - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I absolutely loved watching this movie for the first hour. I disagree with comments slamming the visual style - the slick, over saturated, nervously jumpy, and tremendously atmospheric filming work perfectly to pull us into Diane's growing obsession with (or dependence on?) the over stimulation of the high-tech porn aesthetic. Moody and atmospheric, this film is filled with eye candy ranging from gorgeously detached shots of Tokyo to loving studies of Diane (played by the lovely and here compellingly transformational Connie Nielsen) and even a light smattering (though very light for those of us watching with one hand in our jeans) of hentai and 3-D porn. The movie is completely successful at setting up compelling characters, intrigue, and settings, but as so many other reviews suggest, it does fall apart on story. I spent ninety minutes thrilled, ten minutes just plain confused, and then seventeen minutes disappointed when I realized the film had left not only our reality (which is to be expected) but also its own. It could be argued that we ended up in what was left of Diane's reality but I'm working here to force up a story...the film figuratively and literally leaves us stranded in the desert. There's an unpleasant whiff of pedantic moralizing (the more we become involved with sex, violence, chaos, and objectification the more we...uh...become involved with sex, violence, chaos, and objectification) and a few shrill moments that break the otherwise flawless amoral, multinational, descent-into-helpless (and/or desired) submission to the commerce/sex/violence triad trance of the film, but there's still a lovely, liquid quality to the journey that successfully comes to a boil just a few seconds before evaporating completely.

And it is, overall, worth watching. The cinematographer and director come to the table with powerful visions, the soundtrack is the closest thing to an emotional through line we get, the acting is persuasive and absorbing, and the sets are fascinating and fully actualized. Now, if there had only been a writer involved, we might have really had something here...
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