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Archaic view of women. Desperately NEEDS a sequel to free and avenge Diane!
Anime porn industry satire
Too messy for its own good but not without a decent sampling of good ideas, Olivier Assayas' style was still in development at the time this international crossover was released and while it's not all put together, there's moments of what he has currently become, a singular, unique, and worthy filmmaker.
Near the end of the film the plot implodes but characters are revealed in depth...in the end I just couldn't give a damn.
Before I go into any level of detail about this movie (which honestly won't be much), I should say upfront that I expected more from this since it's supposed to be part of this New French Extremity. What I ended up getting was rather tame and, worst of all, just plain boring at times.
The plot, if one can call it that, revolves around several people who work for a few different companies. One is TokyoAnime, who specialize in animation and manga; the second is the titular Demonlover, a website where people can watch hentai; and the third is Mangatronics, Demonlover's primary competitor. There's also a torture site called Hellfire Club which may or may not be run on the sly by Demonlover. I suppose that last site could have made for a more graphic and explicit film if they'd chose to focus on that, but no, all you get is a dull slog about corporate spying among companies who just happen to deal with some rather sleazy stuff. However, there's only really one scene where you get to see exactly what this content is and a lot of it is blurred out.
Moving on, the acting in this movie was passable although it's not what I would consider great by any means. Connie Nielsen and Gina Gershon, in her limited screen time, come off the best but mostly because their characters were the least annoying. Another major fault of this movie is writing. Aside from a lack of coherence in the general storyline, the characters are all varying degrees of unsympathetic and, at times, grating to the ears. Chloe Sevigny is probably the worst offender, as there are scenes where she'll lurch from calm and sedate to bitchy and screechy without much motivation or reason. On the whole, there is not a likeable character to be found and the confusing plot didn't do them any favors at all.
On a technical level I can sort of give this a pass because it was low-budget, so it wasn't too unexpected that most of the film was shot up-close and handheld. Most of the time, they gave you enough of a look at what was happening so that it wasn't visually disorienting. Still, there are a couple of scenes in which this filming style is detrimental. One was a catfight between Connie Nielsen and Gina Gershon's character in which it's often hard to tell who's hitting who and where they exactly are at any given moment. The other was a chase scene towards the end.
Overall, given the subject matter, or at least what I thought the subject matter was going to be, I have to say this film was a disappointment. It was overly confusing, poorly written with unlikeable characters and, worst of all, rather boring. With such sleazy content involving animated porn and torture sites, they chose possibly one of the worst angles to approach it from and certainly one of the least compelling. It kind of improves in the last 30 minutes or so, but that doesn't excuse the nearly 90 minutes that came before it. If discussions about contracts, clauses and market share are your cup of tea, by all means check this out. For me, however, it was just a dud and waste of my time and money.
Corporate takeovers were never THIS hostile
a one of a kind visual thrill ride deep into the heart of the adult anime entertainment business chock full of espionage , deceit, and revenge.
Hereâ(TM)s a rather peculiar art flick from Olivier Assayas, a rather peculiar director. The story is an odd spy tale set in a futuristic world of pornography, and the presentation is a mix of dry French drama and dreamlike surrealism. As a whole âDemonloverâ is clumsy stuff, but there is an enchanting quality to this oddball as well.
Un film intrigant qui aurait pu devenir un excellent film culte avec ses sujets controversÃ (C)s. Cependant, les scÃ¨nes s'expliquent mal entre elles et ont tendance Ã Ãªtre plus dÃ (C)monstratives qu'Ã servir la narration du film. Des images saisissantes, des scÃ¨nes marquantes, mais l'enchainement des scÃ¨nes ne rÃ (C)alise pas parfaitement un long mÃ (C)trage.
Have you ever wondered what happened if the director had a lobotomy while directing a movie? Well, this is it. Even if in the middle the film totally loses it, still it's a good watch.