The Neon Demon :
If you know anything about the style and movies of Nicolas Winding Refn, then you might have an idea of what you are getting yourself into with this movie, but if not… let me try and lend a hand. As a writer and a director (of which he is both here), Winding Refn has a very unique, very visual style that leans heavily on symbolism and foreshadowing. This movie as with all his movies is filled with beautiful shots, amazing cinematography and he once again pairs up with Cliff Martinez for another stella sound track.
The plot of this movie revolves around an up and coming model who moves to the big city to try and become something, and in this movie at least, things look up for her. Of course no raise to the top is without climbing above someone else, and when that happens… some shit does go down in this movie. The movie also tries to play on some different themes that while are more relatable to women, are not so specific that they alienate male viewers.
Like I said before, Refn loves to lean on visual story telling and symbolism, and he uses them both to try and craft his narrative in a way that doesn’t so much tell you what is happening, but rather shows you and asks you to get out of it what you may. It deals with beauty and obsession and everything that comes with that. The film also tries to reverse the typical narrative of male and female characters that we see so often in movies.
This movie is more art instillation than traditional movie, and it does many things to simply get a reaction of the audience, that you then carry forward into the rest of the movie, which then only really works if you react. The Neon Demon in essence is a kind of pornographic view on the ideas of beauty, death, consumption, and what makes us tick. If experimental film is something you’re a fan of, or at the very least, not afraid of, then definitely give this movie a look (just brace yourself…especially towards the end).