Nicholas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is a triumph of style over substance. The narrative may be thin, but the film atones for this with its sumptuous imagery…
Jesse moves to Los Angeles with the dream of becoming a model. Her youth and beauty are an appeal to those working in the industry. However, Jesse’s appearance also captures the eyes of those with more nefarious plans…
Following on from Only God Forgives, director and co-writer Nicholas Winding Refn latest also favours imagery over dialogue in his latest film. Dialogue and narrative take a backseat to visual engorgement in The Neon Demon. The film has overtones of a rock opera in its thematic style and delivery.
The Neon Demon begins as something of a cautionary tale of narcissistic folly. Young and inexperienced, Jesse begins her modelling career with little knowledge of the pitfalls of the industry. There is danger all around for the protagonist, which manifests symbolically as well as physically. The film ends up in a much darker, and absurdist, place than the opening third betrays. Refs turns the symbolic into the literal as the film progresses. The preoccupation with youth and beauty is played out to horrifying effect.
Cliff Martinez’s score is excellent. The music really compliments the tone of The Neon Demon. Production design is superb, crafting a distinctive look for the film. Rein’s film works in contrasts; the innocence of the Hollywood Hills scene is a distinct contrast to the final scene, in composition, sharpness, colour and tone. Performances in the film are stilted, but this is seemingly deliberate. Elle Fanning is well cast as protagonist Jesse. She shares some of the film’s most natural scenes with Karl Glusman’s Dean.
There are small laughs to be found in the absurdity of it all. For the most part, however, The Neon Demon is a strangely engaging film. Allowing for the absurd and the risqué, the film is a worthwhile endeavour for the style alone.
Lots in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including a X-Men: Apocalypse clip, Our Kind of Traitor, The Nice Guys and more…
X-Men: Apocalypse Clip
Here is the latest X-Men: Apocalypse clip. Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique watches Ben Hardy’s Angel take on Kodi Smitt-McPhee’s Nightcrawler in a cage fight. It is unclear where this fits in with the plot, but the 1980s setting looks fun. X-Men: Apocalypse is out in UK cinemas on 18th May 2016.
Our Kind of Traitor Featurette
The cast of Our Kind of Traitor discuss their roles in the film in this short featurette. Directed by Susanna White, the film is based on John Le Carré’s novel of the same name. Starring Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård, Naomie Harris, and Damian Lewis, Our Kind of Traitor is released on UK screens on 13th May 2016.
The Nice Guys Poster
Here is one of the new poster’s for Shane Black’s The Nice Guys. The film is set in the 1970s and revolves around a hired enforcer (Russell Crowe) and a private investigator (Ryan Gosling) teaming up to solve a case. Also starring Kim Basinger, The Nice Guys hits the big screen on 3rd June 2016.
The Neon Demon Trailer
The Neon Demon has a UK release date. Nicholas Winding Refn’s latest film will hit cinemas on 8th July 2016. The Neon Demon stars Elle Fanning as an aspiring model who moves to LA. Her youth is noted by a group beauty-obsessed women, desperate for what she has. The Neon Demon also stars Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves and Christina Hendricks.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Trailer
Here is the latest trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Out of the Shadows. A sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this new film features some familiar faces from the popular cartoon series. Starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is out in UK cinemas on 30th May 2016.
The Shallows Trailer
Here is the trailer for upcoming thriller The Shallows. The film stars Blake Lively as a young woman who takes a surfing trip to a deserted beach. Only metres from shore, she is obstructed by a great white shark. The Shallows is scheduled for release in cinema in August 2016.