Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Neon Demon 

Wednesday, Jun 22 2016
Comments

Nicolas Winding Refn's hypnotic The Neon Demon is everything one might hope his follow-up to Only God Forgives would be, particularly for those few who recognized that much-maligned film's brilliance. Sixteen-year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Hollywood to become a model, and is taken under the wing of makeup artist Ruby (Jena Malone) while becoming the object of intense jealousy from older models Gigi (Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (Abbey Lee). The picture is a meditation on how our culture ravenously consumes youth and female beauty, and the damage it can cause to those who pursue it — but this ain't Showgirls, and viewers looking for a campy, Peaches Christ-ready T&A-fest from the feminist Neon Demon will be sorely disappointed. Though nubility abounds, there's no nudity — until what the MPAA with its usual judginess calls "a scene of aberrant sexuality" in the third act, which also happens to be the hottest sex scene since Neon Bull (no relation). The Neon Demon is also gorgeous and dream-like, with a pink-and-purple-heavy color palette in the early going that you just want to live inside, all aided by Cliff Martinez's Goblin-tinged synth score. If Only God Forgives evoked Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, then this is Refn's Mulholland Drive, and the best film to play in theaters so far this year.

Tags:

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly

Comments


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"