Demonlover: Olivier Assayas’ Seductive Techno-Thriller Blends High Art and Lowbrow Kinks

Demonlover: Olivier Assayas’ Seductive Techno-Thriller Blends High Art and Lowbrow Kinks
Like so many Olivier Assayas films, Demonlover belongs to the ghosts. In this particular case they are enigmatic, ladder-climbing players in a high-stakes game of corporate espionage. Devoid of backstories or any motivation beyond power, influence, and desire, they are walking ellipses created for the sole purpose of inspiring visceral appeal and narrative misdirection.

Demonlover blends elements of the thriller, heist film, and porn with revolutionary verve, revealing the incredibly close proximity of high art and lowbrow kinks. But what makes this hallucinatory and nightmarish vision of early-online subterfuge so singular is how it fixates on analog textures within a crumbling post-modern world slowly being consumed by all things digital. Every grainy frame exudes the dying gasp of celluloid.

Nearly twenty years after its premiere at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, Demonlover returns in a newly restored, unrated director’s cut that only magnifies its themes of disappearance and submersion. Cold
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