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Thread: All Things: Nicolas Winding Refn

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    Default All Things: Nicolas Winding Refn

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    Cannes 2011 Review: Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive | Film School Rejects

    As the films come to a close, patterns tend to emerge. This year, for instance, there has been a definite focus on the cinema of abuse, of nostalgia and on auteur-driven films, but the most engaging and intriguing mini-pattern for me is the cinema of misdirection, i.e. films that suggest they are one thing and ultimately offer something entirely different by their end.

    Unlike Woody Allenís Midnight in Paris, and The Skin I Live In and even to a lesser extent Hara-Kiri, DriveĎs directional swerve is a tonal one, rather than a thematic or material one. What at the outset looks like an indie love story, with background driving sub-plots, swerves wildly onto a more ragged road.

    Ryan Gosling (Cannesí new darling after this and last yearís mesmerizing Blue Valentine) stars as a stunt-driver/mechanic by day, who moonlights as a getaway driver who is as solitary as Leon, and as effortlessly cool and detached as Bullitt. This driverís world is flipped when he meets his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan, who looks stunning), and is immediately floored by her (and her son Benicio). Problem is, Irene has an ex-con husband (Standard, played by Oscar Isaac) who they discover has been granted early release, and doesnít take too kindly to the driver muscling in on his family. When the driver discovers Standard beaten and bloody in the car park, he offers his services to pull off the one last job that will see the ex-criminal able to get out and go straight. Only things arenít quite that simple, as the film descends into a chaotic, ultra-violent thrill ride, with chicane after chicane of swerves.

    And by Albert Brooksís afro, itís good!

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    PJ Harvey is God adgy-san's Avatar




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    I'm not sure I could become any bigger a fan of Refn's, but everything I've read about this makes me think I will be after seeing it.

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    Cannes: ‘The Tree of Life’ Takes Palme d’Or; ‘Melancholia,’ ‘The Artist’ and ‘Drive’ Win Big Prizes | /Film

    Perhaps the most surprising award went to Nicolas Winding Refn, who took Best Director for Drive. Granted, people seemed to come out of Drive simply ecstatic over the film, but Cannes isn’t known for handing out directing awards to filmmakers who turn up with strange action films involving car chases.
    Awesome! Congrats to Mr. Refn!

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    Early Buzz: Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Drive’ Earns Cannes Praise

    A few initial Tweets, which might be chalked up to post-screening festival highs, hit right after the film was out. Let’s kick things off right. Guy Lodge from In Contention says: “DRIVE (A-) I won’t lie to you: I pretty much want to have sex with this movie. Hot, clipped, nasty, beautiful. Best thing in Competition.”

    An additional Twitter sampling offers:

    Eric Kohn: Walking out of DRIVE, feeling kinda wobbly. In a good way.

    FirstShowing: “Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive – Totally frickin’ awesome. Violent, but badass, great soundtrack. Ryan Gosling is the man. Loved it, new fave.”

    Rope of Silicon: “‘Drive’ was a great way to end my time here in Cannes, really enjoyed and fans of Refn are in for a treat.”

    IonCinema: “Cannes 2011: Refn’s DRIVE. More focus on the driving gloves than the cars. This one has got a mean streak and softer side: cult classic.”

    Mike D’Angelo (Onion AV Club): “Let’s see if I can be the first person in your feed to say: DRIVE, holy ****.” and “Let’s see if I can be the first person in @albertbrooks ‘s feed to say: Dude, HOLY ****.”

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    Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Only God Forgives’ To Be All Over the Genre Map | Film School Rejects

    Nicolas Winding Refn just won Best Director at Cannes, but apparently he wonít be going to Disneyland to celebrate. Maybe not surprising for a director who once told me that ďart is an act of violence.Ē Thatís also when he began talking about Only God Forgives, a western-style drama that heíd like to shoot in Asia. Why Asia?

    Because they have the best toys, and Refn is an avid toy collector. Iím not making that up. Read the interview for confirmation.

    Fortunately, Twitch has gotten a hold of a synopsis for the film, and itís chock-full of all sorts of genre goodness:

    Julian is on the run from the British police. He runs a Thai Boxing club in Bangkok which is a front for a drugs smuggling operation. He is well respected within the criminal underworld, but deep in his heart he feels that his life is lacking something. He meets a retired cop, The Angel of Vengeance, and finds out that he has to confront his mother.

    Fighting. Cops. Drugs. Familial drama. Someone called ďThe Angel of Vengeance.Ē

    These are all good things.

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    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo-j-YxmF0U&feature=player_embedded"]YouTube - ‪Gosling‬‏[/nomedia]

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    Fleet, Hard As Nails, Almost Great :: Hollywood Elsewhere

    It's Bullitt in the clothes of a curiously motivated stunt-car driver (a very stoic and charismatic Ryan Gosling) who moonlights as a freelance getaway guy. And yes, it has that stripped-down '70s atmosphere in spades. And it delivers three killer performances from Gosling, Carey Mulligan and -- big jolt -- a darkly cynical and altogether splendid Albert Books (!), and a very fine one from Ron Perlman. It holds back, invests in silences, lets the ingredients percolate and build and then wham! And then it chills for a bit. And then wham! again. And then more quiet, waiting, looks, intimations.

    It's the kind of high-end genre flick that "they" stopped making a long time ago when "they" decided that the Fast and Furious movies were better investments. Jerks.

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    CANNES REVIEW: Ryan Gosling Owns the Road in Drive | Movieline

    Drive not only met my hopes; it charged way over the speed limit, partly because it’s an unapologetically commercial picture that defies all the current trends in mainstream action filmmaking. The driving sequences are shot and edited with a surgeon’s clarity and precision — Refn (best known Stateside for Bronson and the Pusher trilogy) doesn’t chop up the action to fool us into thinking it’s more exciting than it is. This is such a simple thing. Is it really reason enough to fall in love with a movie? Considering how sick I am of railing against the visual clutter in so many contemporary action movies — even some that are very enjoyable are not particularly well-made — I think it is.

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    REVIEW: “Drive” (****)

    “I used to produce movies in the 80s,” Brooks smarms, in the film’s most self-relexive line. “Kind of action films, sexy stuff… one producer called them European.” The irony has not escaped Winding Refn that he himself is making one of those movies, though with a more expansive frame of reference, the finest layer of B-movie grime that time and money can buy, and a narrative propulsive enough that the film needn’t only be watched through quote marks. Made through the prism of two eras, operating both as sophisticated cinematic love note and fundamental ****-yeah entertainment, this sleek, sinuous film is the best kind of nostalgia exercise: one that marvels at the movies that bore it, while stirring excitement for the future.

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