This morning brought news that, amongst several other humongous premieres, the Cannes Film Festival would host the first proper screening of Nicolas Winding Refn‘s The Neon Demon, the Denmark-born auteur’s follow-up to his less-than-well-received Only God Forgives. Now, we have the first trailer for the film and it looks, well, about what you would expect from a Refn films – plenty of colored lights, stylized wardrobe, and violence over violence. The story of the film hinges on a model, played by the surpassingly talented Elle Fanning, who enters a wild, “dangerous” world where competition is constant and bloody, and the image is all that matters to those who hold the strings. You can check out the trailer for the film right below:
Refn has cut out an interesting place for himself in the cinematic landscape and though I’m not a die-hard fan of his work, he’s never boring. The Pusher trilogy and Drive are both exceptional works, and I have a strange love for Valhalla Rising, though that might be tied more closely to my obsession with the work of Mads Mikkelsen. I can’t say that I enjoyed or even found much to think about with Only God Forgives, but I have high hopes for The Neon Demon, if only because it would seemingly be a film anchored by women, easily passing the should-be-easy Bechdel Test. Fanning is joined by the likes of Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks and Jena Malone, one of the best and sadly underutilized actresses working today, while Bella Heathcote and Keanu Reeves are also set to appear in supporting roles. Following their acquisition of Spike Lee‘s staggering Chi-Raq, The Neon Demon could very well cement Amazon Studios’ reputation as one of most audacious distributors out there.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Neon Demon:
When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.