Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's new film "The Neon Demon" is selected for Competition at the Cannes Film Festival (11-22 May). It's the third time Refn will compete for the the Palme d'Or. "Only God Forgives" was selected in 2013, and "Drive" won him the Best Director Award in 2011.
In "The Neon Demon," Winding Refn focuses on our generation's obsession with beauty and perfect appearances. Elle Fanning plays a young woman, Jesse, who moves to Los Angeles to try to start a modelling career. But her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
In addition to Fanning, the cast include Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves, Karl Glusman, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee and Christina Hendricks. The film is developed in Denmark, shot in Los Angeles and edited and post-produced back in Denmark with a Danish and international team.
Long-time collaborators behind the camera
Behind the camera, the director has teamed up with two of his regular partners: editor Matthew Newman ("Bronson," "Drive," "Only God Forgives") and composer Cliff Martinez ("Drive," "Only God Forgives"). They are joined by director of photography Natasha Braier, sound desiger Eddie Simonsen and visual effects supervisor Peter Hjort. The director's long-time collaborator Lene Børglum has produced the film for her and Refn's joint company Space Rocket Nation.
As with Winding Refn's previous film "Only God Forgives," French sales companies Wild Bunch and Gaumont are on board to co-finance and co-distribute. The film has received funding from the Danish Film Institute. It will be released in Denmark on 9 June, around the same time as in France, the UK, Italy and the U.S. Amazon distributes the film in North America, while Scanbox is the film's domestic distributor.
Nicolas Winding Refn made his directorial debut 20 years ago with "Pusher" (1996). He has attracted international attention for films such as "Bronson" (2009), "Valhalla Rising" (2010), "Drive" (2011) and "Only God Forgives" (2013). In 2014, he served as Cannes Competition jury member.
The festival kicks of on 11 May and hasn't yet revealed its full lineup.