The Neon Demon

The Neon Demon poster

The Neon Demon movie poster

Since gaining critical acclaim with Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn seems to have given up telling stories, preferring to focus on images and music, rather than stories. While developing haunting visuals and atmospheres have always been his forte, as the glorious and mystical Valhalla Rising can attest, his previous movie Only God forgives didn’t have much to offer, besides glossy images and gratuitous violence. With The Neon Demon, he follows this trend but shows that a movie’s apparent superficiality can be used to reflect the theme it tackles – in this case, portraying cruelty in the Fashion industry.

Supported by Cliff Martinez’s dark electro soundtrack, The Neon Demon delivers a series of conceptual sequences that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern art museum. The glossy cinematography mirrors the look of luxurious fashion images, creating a surreal environment close to Mr Winding Refn’s own fashion commercials. With the director being familiar with this world, we could have expected something more than this critique of Fashion’s well-known superficiality. Models are depicted as competitive and ferocious dehumanized beings, the script throwing vampirism and cannibalism as easy metaphors to symbolize this. The movie follows a young and innocent model’s journey in Los Angeles, her rise leading to her demise. This is another opportunity for Mr. Winding Refn to indulge in what he does best, creating beautiful, disturbing and almost grotesque violent sequences.

Whether is a genius author or just a pretentious and narcissistic filmmaker, Mr. Winding Refn’s creates a blurry work that can either be seen as a daring artistic experiment or as a vain effort.  And this ambivalence is what makes it worth a trip to the movie theater: both fascinating and repulsive, The Neon Demon is a guilty pleasure that you can’t resist.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn – Actors: Elle Fanning, Keanu Reeves – Running Time: 1:57 – Year: 2016 – Country: USA
Click here to watch the The Neon Demon trailer
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Moland Fengkov

Moland Fengkov

Based in Paris, Moland is a journalist and photographer; He is more particularly responsible for covering the Cannes film festival for Plume Noire, writing movie reviews and taking gorgeous pictures.
Moland Fengkov

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