Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The Neon Demon won’t be for all tastes, but the latest film from Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn is a singular and memorable experience. It’s the kind of movie that lingers in the back of your brain for days after your screening, resurfacing every so often with a startling image or strange moment. It’s very much a companion piece to Refn’s Only God Forgives, exchanging the broken and doomed masculinity of that film to explore the feminine world of professional models, superficial beauty, and other, gnarlier subjects that don’t deserve to be spoken about in polite company.
Refn himself is polite company, even when your conversation about his divisive new film (which I quite like) turns a little contentious. I sat down with the filmmaker and his frequent collaborator, composer Cliff Martinez, to discuss why all films find audiences, the future of the entertainment industry, and how making a controversial film is harder than it looks.
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Nicolas Winding Refn has officially announced the female-led horror movie he’s been developing for over a year, and the film has a new title. What was once referred to as I Walk With the Dead is now The Neon Demon. The film will be at the American Film Market, which begins shortly in Los Angeles, and should shoot early in 2015. Read More »
Celebrate the filmmaker who is able to rip stuff right out of their head and put it on screen. One of the most striking movies of 2013 is Only God Forgives, from Drive and Bronson director Nicolas Winding Refn and Drive star Ryan Gosling.
Refn’s movie is a hallucinogenic trip through stunted sexual growth, with a manchild (Gosling) defined and constrained by the influence of his domineering mother, played by a fierce Kristin Scott Thomas. The film seems hell-bent on shattering Gosling’s image as a muscular leading man, and in diving deep into the corners of an unstable and not entirely welcoming mental space.
Only God Forgives is out on disc this week. Earlier this year I spoke to Refn and the film’s soundtrack composer, Cliff Martinez, and they explained the gestation of the voice of the film, and the idea of following artistic inspiration. Read More »
It’s only a couple weeks until the first US release of Nicolas Winding Refn‘s new film Only God Forgives. You might expect a contained and strange film as a follow-up to Drive, but this is even more quiet and weird than what most people have in mind. (Related: I like the film a lot.)
Only God Forgives stars Ryan Gosling as an American at large in Bangkok, where he and his brother run a boxing gym a a front for a drug operation. But that’s really a tangental story point — the real thrust of the movie is about what happens when Gosling’s character conflicts with his own mother (an icy, scary Kristin Scott Thomas) over the ideal approach to avenge violence done to their family.
After the break, get a taste of the early period that led to the creation of the film, as Refn explores Bangkok in search of locations and inspiration. Read More »
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For some music lovers, vinyl LPs never stopped being an ideal way to listen to music. Stick to CDs or MP3s if you like, but I’ll continue to nurture my own enthusiasm for the large cover art and physical interaction with LPs. Last year, I reluctantly bought a digital copy of the score for Nicolas Winding Refn‘s movie Drive, but would have much rather been able to purchase an LP pressing with the moody cues from Cliff Martinez.
Last week the UK label run by Geoff Barrow of Portishead announced that it would release the Drive OST on vinyl, and now Mondo has chimed in with plans to release a 2-LP edition of the Drive OST in the US. No need to pay the import price!
Oh, and as a bonus, the Mondo release will have new cover art by Tyler Stout. Details are below, along with a nifty trio of neon-inspired posters (unrelated to the LP release) for the film. Read More »