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The small screen regularly attracts many big screen filmmakers to film 30 and 60 second television commercials, but the Super Bowl is the premiere for many of these new spots. So beyond the commercials for big screen movies and television shows, which of the commercials shown during the big game were directed by movie directors? Find out after the jump.

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Barbarella

It’s been quite a while since we got an update on Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Barbarella TV series. You’d be forgiven if you assumed it was dead or even forgot it was ever supposed to happen at all.

But not only is it still on, it’s moving forward at a new home. Amazon Studios is developing a pilot for the series, and is now in the process of looking for a showrunner. Hit the jump for more details on the show.

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Only God Forgives

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 »

refn-stenham-i-walk-with-the-dead

Nicolas Winding Refn is off Logan’s Run, but he does have the television revamp of Barbarella to work on. As far as features go, his next project may well be a Tokyo-set film that has been called The Avenging Silence, and which he has likened (in some manner — don’t take this too seriously, it turns out) to a prequel to Valhalla Rising. But details on that one are scarce.

In the meantime, there’s also the development of the ”all-female horror film” I Walk With the Dead, which Refn has been toying with for years, and which has been rumored to star Carey Mulligan. (Who also appeared in Refn’s breakout film Drive.)

Now young UK playwright Polly Stenham is going to be the voice of the film; while the director normally writes his own scripts, in this case he’s turning to an outside source to script. Why? Perhaps because, as he’s said in the past, he’s not great at writing female characters, and this film is meant to feature nothing but. Read More »

Valhalla Rising

George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road will get some synthetic beats courtesy of Junkie XL. The Dutch composer and producer (real name Tom Holkenborg) will score the long-gestating sequel, as reported by Manly Movie after the artist teased the news on Twitter.

Holkenborg composed the scores for this summer’s Paranoia, and the upcoming 300: Rise of an Empire. Additionally, he has worked on the soundtracks for Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises, and all three Madagascar movies. Mad Max: Fury Road lands in theaters next year. [via The Playlist]

After the jump, sample some tunes from soundtracks that have already been completed, including Daniel Pemberton‘s for The Counselor and Peter Peter and Peter Kyed‘s for Valhalla Rising.

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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 »

‘Only God Forgives’ International Trailer

Only God Forgives

Most of us are off today for Independence Day here in the States, but of course for the rest of the world it’s just a plain old Thursday. Which I guess is why this new international trailer for Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Only God Forgives is hitting on a day we Americans like to spend sleeping in, lounging around outside, and generally avoiding being cooped up inside with our computers.

But we’re not complaining. Refn and Ryan Gosling wowed us in 2011 with the slick, stylish Drive, and based on the trailers his follow-up Only God Forgives could be even more eye-popping. Kristin Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansringarm also star in the Thai-set thriller. Hit the jump to watch the video.

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valhallarising_03

While most people know Nicolas Winding Refn for Bronson or Drive, sandwiched in-between the two was a film called Valhalla Rising. It follows a mute, imprisoned warrior in 1000 AD named One-Eye (Casino Royale‘s Mads Mikkelsen) who breaks out of prison with the help of a young boy. Together, the pair board a Viking ship and end up in a mysterious land. Valhalla Rising got generally favorable reviews and remains something of a cult classic, despite being a dud at the domestic box office.

Still, the film obviously holds a special place in the heart of the director. While out promoting his latest film, God Only Forgives, Winding Refn said he and Mikkelsen have talked about revisiting the One-Eye character in Tokyo-set pseudo sequel. Read More »

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