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We’ve only just seen the first trailer from Nicolas Winding Refn‘s new film Only God Forgives, in which Ryan Gosling plays a man looking to avenge his brother’s murder in Bangkok. (There appears to be a bit more to the story than that, but we’ll keep it simple for now.)

Turns out there has been a nice little video piece about the making of the film floating around for a few months. In a segment from the documentary N.W.R., we find the writer/director in Bangkok preparing to make Only God Forgives. He explains a bit more of the story — more even than the trailer really gives away — and also describes some of the difficulties of making the movie in Thailand.

But the most interesting bit is perhaps the segment towards the end, where Refn is in his hotel room putting together the script. That doesn’t sound like a great thing to look at, but his explanation of his writing process, combined with the view into his working space, is somewhat unique.

(Note: This headline has been altered from the original “Nicolas Winding Refn Races to Finish ‘Only God Forgives’ Script in Behind the Scenes Footage” in order to avoid any suggestion that Refn is working to finish the script now.)

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Only God Forgives (B&W) Battered

Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Drive) has employed images of serious violence in the past; his first team-up with Ryan Gosling featured both intimidating threats and gory action. Now we’ve got the first footage from their second film pairing, Only God Forgives, a violent revenge-thriller “western” set in Bangkok.

Gosling plays a boxer and drug smuggler pressed into vengeful action when his brother is killed. This trailer isn’t terribly gory, but it is laden with the heavy air of things just about to go really, really wrong. The color in the images, combined with the music and a sense of floating, suggest that this is a story that descends into the same psychological space as Bronson. This time, however, Refn has more resources at his disposal.

And yet, more than anything else, it’s the opening dialogue from Kristen Scott Thomas, playing the mother of Gosling’s character, that gives me chills. Compared  to that, Gosling’s invitation at the end of the trailer seems almost polite.

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Here’s a quick, rather low-quality teaser clip from Nicolas Winding Refn‘s new film, Only God Forgives. The twenty seconds or so of footage shows star Ryan Gosling and co-star Kristen Scott Thomas in their roles in Refn’s Thai-set revenge film. Just what is going on here? Difficult to tell, exactly, but even this brief look shows the same blend of cool command and potential violence that characterized Refn and Gosling’s last outing, Drive. 

See the footage below; it probably won’t stay online for long. Read More »

The two films represented here couldn’t be more different in many ways, but they share a couple of significant characteristics.

While Elysium is a gritty science fiction thriller and Only God Forgives is a sort of Western revenge film set in Thailand, both movies are the new projects from directors whose last films turned them into huge names. Elysium is the second feature from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, and the footage shown off last summer at Comic Con blew us away. Only God Forgives is the new film from Nicolas Winding Refn, and will be the follow-up to Drive, which finally turned the guy into someone whose name every film lover knows.

Both films are also among our most anticipated films for 2013, so even a slight glimpse at each is great. Read More »

Drive team Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling reconvened earlier this year to shoot the Thai-flavored western Only God Forgives in Bangkok. We’ve seen one photo of Gosling that comes from the film, but there wasn’t much to that image.

Now a set of moody black and white photos has shown up online, and they do a nice job of complimenting the report of footage shown off late last week at Cannes. Check ‘em out below. Read More »

Director Nicolas Winding Refn and actor Ryan Gosling are in Thailand now shooting their follow-up to the 2011 cult hit Drive. The new film is Only God Forgives, a sort of revenge Western set in Bangkok, with Kristen Scott Thomas playing a villainous matriarch.

We’ve seen one image of Gosling in the film, but it was pretty much just an image of Gosling that could have been sourced from most anywhere – the background is the more interesting bit. (Above.) Now there is a new image of the actor that suggests he really gets his ass handed to him at some point in the film. Read More »

The Drive duo of writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher, Bronson) and actor Ryan Gosling have joined forces once more to shoot Only God Forgives, a western set in Thailand. The film is in production now, and the bad news is that a distribution deal we assumed was going to come through, with Drive distributor FilmDistrict, has failed.

But there’s good news: Radius-TWC, a Weinstein Company offshoot label that is focused on cross-platform distribution with an emphasis on VOD, is in talks to pick up the film. Read More »

Russ Fischer’s 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2012

Enough about 2011; let’s look ahead to 2012. This past year was good about offering a diverse set of films that catered to many tastes, especially crowds that wanted something out of the range of standard multiplex fare. But 2012 looks like a much stronger year. We can almost always look ahead to a new year and say that there is a great batch of new films from established favorite filmmakers, movies with wonderful casts,  giant event movies and promising indies. But 2012 looks like it has more of those than usual. It’s going to be a good year for movie watchers.

After some deliberation (which no doubt has still allowed me to overlook something for which I’ll facepalm later) here is a list of ten films that I’m very excited to see in 2012, followed by a full page of discussion about a whole bunch of other movies that didn’t make my personal cut but are still bright spots on the 2012 calendar for various reasons. This list could change a lot in the next couple weeks, as Sundance (and then Cannes in May) could reveal a good many new films that will be bright spots on the calendar in ’12.

I’ve also exercised a certain hopefulness here, as there are a few films that don’t yet have official 2012 release dates. Let’s hope they don’t slip. Read More »

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