The equally eclectic and fantastic cinema of Olivier Assayas makes picking favorites a fool’s errand, but among many (yours truly included) there is a special place for his 2002 techno-spy-hentai thriller Demonlover, an apotheosis of his dual interests in genre cinema and globalization. Though I might’ve lost you at the hentai: it’s also hugely funny for centering its murderous espionage plot on anime porn, which Gina Gershon insists will allow them to “control 75% of the world market.”
Janus’ new restoration of his director’s cut will debut on February 12, ahead of which is a trailer that does well to encapsulate the mad frenzy of Assayas’ project. First, here’s the official synopis:
“No one sees anything. Ever. They watch, but they don’t understand.” So observes Connie Nielsen in Olivier Assayas’s hallucinatory, globe-spanning Demonlover, a postmodern neonoir thriller and media critique in which nothing—not even the film itself—is what it appears to be. Nielsen plays Diane de Monx, a Volf Corporation executive turned spy for rival Mangatronics in the companies’ battle over the lucrative market of Internet adult animation. But Diane may not be the only player at Volf with a hidden agenda: both romantic interest Hervé (Charles Berling) and office enemy Elise (Chloë Sevigny) seem to know her secret and can easily use it against her for their own purposes. As the stakes grow higher and Diane ventures into deadlier territory, Assayas explores the connections between multinational businesses and extreme underground media as well as the many ways 21st-century reality increasingly resembles violent, disorienting fiction.
See the trailer below (via Polygon):