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"Refn's latest and best, The Neon Demon, is the culmination of his decades-long fascination with human nature in its darkest, most destructive form. It is … a gorgeous, grisly work which holds a (vanity) mirror up to modern society's corroded moral core." – Little White Lies

Co-scripted by playwrights Mary Laws and Polly Stenham, the latest provocation from Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, MIFF 2011) is his first film told from a female point of view. It centres on ravishing young Jesse, a waif-like aspiring model fresh to the meat factory of the LA fashion world – which she immediately sets ablaze, leaving breathless desire and snarling jealousy in her wake. Elle Fanning is luminous as Jesse, with Australians Abbey Lee and Bella Heathcote, as well as Jena Malone (Lovesong, MIFF 2016), Christina Hendricks and Keanu Reeves all compelling in support.

An intoxicating eyegasm to behold, the film draws inspiration from sources as varied as the legends of Narcissus and the Countess Báthory, Italian giallo and Alejandro Jodorowsky, Black Swan and Suspiria, and it absolutely revels in its psychedelic, psychotic excess. Darkly comic at times but always surreally scathing, this is sure to be one of the festival's most spectacular conversation starters.

"Winding Refn has created some kind of mesmerising beauty-horror film, with a perversity so elegant it's hard to resist." – The Upcoming