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Demonlover (2002)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 3,520 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 65 user | 66 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Two corporations compete for illicit 3D manga pornography, sending spies to infiltrate each other's operations.

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Title: Demonlover (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Hervé Le Millinec
...
Elise Lipsky
Dominique Reymond ...
Karen
Jean-Baptiste Malartre ...
Henri-Pierre Volf
...
Edwin Gerard ...
Edward Gomez
Thomas M. Pollard ...
Avocat américain
Abi Sakamoto ...
Kaori - la traductrice
Naoko Yamazaki ...
Eiko
Nao Ômori ...
Shoji
Jean-Pierre Gos ...
Verkamp - Contact Diane
Julie Brochen ...
Gina - Amie de Diane
...
Ray
Alexandre Lachaux ...
Erwan - Broker #1
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Storyline

Diane works for a French firm bidding to purchase a Japanese animation outfit. Diane maliciously hatches a plot to take the job of her supervisor Karen. The plan succeeds, but then Diane faces problems when a competing American firm, represented by Elaine, becomes involved. Diane's assistant Elise remains loyal to Karen, and she frustrates Diane's every move. When it comes to light that the one of the concerned parties controls an Internet site which broadcasts actual torture, the plot thickens. Written by Ken Miller {wkmiller704@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexual content and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 November 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Demonlover.com  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€7,032,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$39,284 (USA) (19 September 2003)

Gross:

$231,756 (USA) (23 January 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated) | (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The prêt-a-porter featured is from a Fred Sathal collection and is credited along the movie and video game extracts featured. See more »

Quotes

Hervé Le Millinec: I saw you move. I saw you with Volf.
Diane de Monx: What did you see?
Hervé Le Millinec: How you operated. I admire you.
Diane de Monx: You didn't see anything. No one sees anything. Ever. They watch... But they don't understand.
See more »

Connections

References Barbarella (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Lovely head
Written by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory
Performed by Goldfrapp
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User Reviews

 
Criminally Underrated
24 April 2004 | by (Burbank, CA) – See all my reviews

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 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.


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