Hmmm. Whether to see Olivier Assayas' art film Demonlover. In the plus column, Roger Ebert pronounces it "completely amoral" and means it as a criticism (this from the screenwriter of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls!) On the other hand, a thumbs-up from Charles "I Love Actresses" Taylor in Salon signals the camera will probably be making love to the stars for the better part of two hours (Connie Nielsen, ChloŽ Sevigny, Gina Gershon). Well, maybe that's okay. So I went.

Report: Paul Virilio and half the regulars at Index magazine seemingly served as script consultants, but the movie's not so bad. Mulholland Drive for cyber-wankers. The score a too-busy encyclopedia of art-noise moves from the past 20 years, too much damn electric guitar trying to put the punk in the cyber (when the credits come up at the end: "Oh, of course, Sonic Youth.") Lots of topical references to anime, vidgames, and the Internet. Not so topical regurgitation of Videodrome. And geez, the pixel-bleeping of penetration shots from nasty hentai cartoons just to get an R-rating lacks a certain...courage. But then there's that scene of Sevigny lying on her stomach on a hotel bed, nude, playing an ultraviolent wireframe kungfu game. *heart melts*

One would be tempted to think this is a dot-com relic arriving late after being held up in some petty distribution tiff. The sense of indispensability and edginess it tries to give the Internet often feels tacked on. The last shot is brilliant, though, keeping the film humble and positioning it squarely in the here and now of diminished expectations. At least for me. And Connie Nielsen, the thinking dude's Jennifer Connelly, does have a lot of screen time. Even though she's really too nice to be noir. Sorry if this is breezy; I'm out.

- tom moody 10-01-2003 5:04 pm





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