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Love it or loathe it, Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives" was a distinctive and completely polarizing piece of work. As the filmmaker himself admits, it found him consciously destroying everything that made "Drive" a success. He wanted to ensure he didn't get stuck repeating himself. But it resulted in an anxiety filled shoot for the director, captured on camera by his wife Liv Corfixen, who turned it into the documentary "My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn." It's an up close look at Refn's process on the movie from the kind of perspective you don't often get. And over the weekend, the pair hit New York City to talk about the film. The Close-Up podcast captured that conversation, and as always, Refn makes an enjoyable raconteur. He reveals that he's a "big admirer of reality television," which made it easy for him to be filmed by Corfixen, and »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Danish born filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn is one of the most exciting and diverse directors working in and outside the film industry today. A cinephile who states that Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre is the film that cemented his desire to one day make a picture himself, Refn’s films exude such cinematic passion with a stark, specific vision, and as much style as there is substance in every film he’s created. If you’ve ever wondered on the thought process of such an auteur, then step right up, because My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn delivers that in harsh spades.
My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn (referred here on out as Mldbnwr) chronicles the making of Only God Forgives, Refn’s stylish, Alejandro Jodorowsky dedicated, neon-drenched deconstruction of a leading Hollywood star. Shot and directed by his fellow filmmaker wife Liv Corfixen, we’re »
- Justin Edwards
This is a reprint of our interview from the 2014 Fantastic Fest. When it comes to documentaries that chart the making of a particular film, some of the very best have come from those closest to the filmmakers. The most towering achievement in this regard is probably "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse," an intense making-of documentary that follows Francis Ford Coppola and the bonkers production of "Apocalypse Now," which was co-authored by Coppola's wife, Eleanor. Following in Eleanor's footsteps is Liv Corfixen, the wife of "Drive" filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, who took to cataloguing the production of Refn's polarizing, Bangkok-set thriller "Only God Forgives," with "My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn." We had the chance to sit down with Refn and Corfixen at the recent Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. The documentary is an intimate portrait of frustration and familial unrest (since they had to move the family »
- Drew Taylor
When Only God Forgives made its debut at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, it’s fair to say the reaction was somewhat mixed. Some hooted and derided the film. A few got up and left. Many, on the other hand, championed director Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow up to his critically-acclaimed Drive, also starring Ryan Gosling.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, for example, prized the film, and for this writer, it was a disturbing counterpoint to the more commercial Drive - if that film was a sun-drenched dream in which Ryan Gosling played an archetypal male hero, then Only God Forgives is the nightmare: a view of machismo gone horribly awry.
If some critics were appalled by the film, Refn had misgivings of his own. The director’s self-doubt »
While Nicolas Winding Refn's bromance with Ryan Gosling is well documented, he also logs serious time with enfant terrible Gaspar Noé. If you ever wanted to get in a room with the pair, now is the time, as a great talk between them has surfaced. Conducted at the Danish Film Institute last year, the video is a fascinating, fun half-hour conversation between the pair. Refn talks about the tedium he felt shooting the car chases in "Drive" and how Christina Hendricks saved an otherwise dull scene, while Noé reveals his problems trying to get Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel to shoot a sequence he wanted for "Irreversible." They also talk about the hoops they have to go through in raising financing for their films, with Noé revealing how he got funding for his upcoming, explicit "Love" with just a few posters. It's great stuff, so watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
This review was originally published during Fantastic Fest 2014.
My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn gives us just a peek into the mind of one of cinema’s most celebrated directors. Directed and shot by his wife Liv Corfixen, My Life… is a documentary that follows the Danish director during the making of his 2013 film Only God Forgives. While her film can be appreciated as simply a small portrait of the acclaimed director, it also taps into the fear and anxiety every artist feels during the creative process. A daring undertaking for someone who has never made a documentary before.
Even though we see Refn in the most mundane situations (waking-up, playing with his kids), he still comes across as cool and enigmatic, not unlike his on-screen heroes. Often we see him in a contemplative state. There’s always a long pause for reflection before he answers a question or responds in a cryptic manner. »
- Michael Haffner
As Nicolas Winding Refn prepares to begin production on "The Neon Demon," his upcoming foray into horror, you can take a peek into his process thanks to the new documentary "My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn," which was made by his wife. There's a reason "Hearts Of Darkness" is often considered one of the best behind-the-scenes films about filmmaking, and it's because Eleanor Coppola had access that no one else would have. The same is true here, and it captures Refn at the moment where he was working to follow up his breakthrough hit "Drive." It's a fascinating moment for any filmmaker. In Refn's case, he did a lot of great work before "Drive," but everything came together on that movie in a very special way. Ryan Gosling was at peak cool, and there was something compelling and immediate about that title and those trailers. When you make a »
- Drew McWeeny
Nicolas Winding Refn worked steadily before achieving any kind of mainstream appreciation, and even when he achieved just that, it felt like a minor score. His movies are sometimes damnably arty, but infused with a kicky, stylistic verve that can appeal to broad audiences. You could tell that Refn was steeped in the kind of films that art house audiences might not have been familiar with. His work willfully combines disparate influences to create a wholly intoxicating new concoction. They also share a kind of barely contained rage. "Drive," his first commercial hit, cemented him as a director to watch and made all of his bloody obsessions palpable (and won him a Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival). But as a public figure, Refn has remained goofy and affable. If something darker lurked inside, he never showed it. Which is what makes "My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn »
- Drew Taylor
Rather than take a backseat to “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn, occasional actress and full-time housewife Liz Corfixen fires back with a film of her own, billed as a behind-the-scenes look at her helmer husband’s Bangkok-made “Only God Forgives,” but essentially a loose production diary from her point of view. For anyone who’s ever wondered what being married to a tortured, world-famous director must be like, “My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn” suggests the sacrifices required of those who live in an artist’s orbit, but it fails to offer what groupies surely want, which is insight into Refn’s creative process.
Though billed as a documentary, this 59-minute doodle barely rises above homemovie status, featuring more material of Corfixen’s two daughters dancing naked around hotel rooms than it does actual on-set footage — though ambient music from “Drive” composer Cliff Martinez gives her a distinct advantage over most amateur videographers. »
- Peter Debruge
If it's help navigating The X-Files' many, many episodes you're after, then you've come to the right place...
Maps To TV Shows: Is there a popular show you’d really like to watch but you just don’t have time to wade through years of it all at once? Do you just want to know why that one character keeps turning up on Tumblr? Do the fans all tell you ‘season one is a bit iffy but stick with it, it gets great!’, leaving you with absolutely zero desire ever to watch the boring/silly/just plain weird season one? Then Maps To TV Shows is for you!
In these articles, we’ll outline routes through popular TV shows focusing on particular characters, story arcs or episode types. Are you really into the Klingon episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation? Do you want to get the overall gist »
Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. She must dive deep into the mystery, if the family is to survive.
Directed by Ryan Gosling, Lost River features a cast that includes Christina Hendricks (Drive), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Iain De Caestecker (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Saorise Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Eva Mendes (The Place Beyond the Pines) and Ben Mendelsohn (The Place Beyond the Pines).
- Gary Collinson
“I’ve spent three years making this film, and I don’t really know what it’s about,” director Nicolas Winding Refn admits, head bowed as he sits on the edge of his bed, contemplating the agony and ecstasy of making Only God Forgives.
Coming off Drive, his most commercial and acclaimed work, it can’t have been easy for Refn to jump headlong into another project, despite knowing from the get-go that it wouldn’t even slightly resemble his last. The director’s musings and misery as he faces the possibility of disappointing a newly galvanized (and much expanded) fanbase serve as the meat and potatoes of My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, a brisk, 58-minute documentary made Hearts of Darkness-style by Refn’s wife, Liv Corfixen.
Whether Corfixen set out to make a home video or always intended to explore her husband’s painful creative process is unclear. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Written and directed by Liv Corfixen
The Life of Nicolas Winding Refn Directed by Me might have been a more appropriate title for Liv Corfixen’s first documentary, which provides a behind-the-scenes insight into the making of her husband’s latest film Only God Forgives. Following on from his remarkable critical and commercial success with Drive, Refn is under pressure to produce more of the same and in doing so satisfy both his financial backers and his artistic ambitions. It is also the first time that Corfixen and the couple’s two daughters have joined Refn for an extended shoot abroad, creating a completely new environment in which he must balance his personal and professional lives.
Regardless of what the title suggests, My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn has little to do with Corfixen or the impact Refn’s film is having on her. »
- Rob Dickie
Plot: Having enjoyed worldwide success with his neo-noir Drive, director Nicolas Winding Refn tackles a much different journey with his follow-up film, Only God Forgives, while his wife documents the highs and lows of the production. Review: My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn (sometimes referred to as simply "My Life Directed") is my favorite kind of documentary: the kind examining the agony and the ecstasy of making a movie. Naturally, anyone who loves the cinema will be »
- Eric Walkuski
Kids at heart! On Sunday, Feb. 22, Hollywood big shots Ryan Gosling and director Guillermo del Toro forwent the 87th Annual Academy Awards in favor of goofing off at Disneyland. The pair were photographed on a Cars ride, with the Drive star, 34, at the wheel and the Pinocchio director, 50, in the passenger seat. Gosling has a long history with Disney, getting his start as a Mouseketeer alongside Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake back in 1993. Now it seems the new dad is testing [...] »
"It would be boring if we all just made safe films." So says Nicolas Winding Refn following the premiere of Only God Forgives at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The quote comes from the brisk, 58-minute documentary My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn, shot by Refn's wife Liv Corfixen during production of Only God Forgives, largely during the couple's time in Bangkok with glimpses back home in Denmark during post production and finally at the film's premiere on the Croisette in Cannes. It's a fascinating look at a filmmaker I've personally come to anticipate his every next feature, though I'm not afraid to admit Only God Forgives was a bit of a let down, as it seems it was for Refn... or was itc The most fascinating aspect of this doc is to lay witness to Refn's inner turmoil. From the beginning he's stuck in his own head, looking at »
- Brad Brevet
Icon Entertainment has released the UK trailer for My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn, an upcoming documentary from Refn’s wife Liv Corfixen which documents their life during the making of Only God Forgives. Check it out below after the official synopsis…
My Life Directed is a unique insight into the life of one of the world’s most exciting filmmakers as he struggles to reconcile a fast growing international career with his role as a family man and father. Liv Corfixen documents, with uncompromising realism, her husband’s journey making Only God Forgives, the follow-up to the biggest film of his career to date, Drive.
Corfixen’s camera follows Refn as he and his family decamps to Bangkok for the 6 month production of Only God Forgives, up to and including its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. It demonstrates the warm friendship between Refn and Ryan Gosling, »
- Gary Collinson
My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn is a unique insight into the life of one of the world’s most exciting filmmakers as he struggles to reconcile a fast growing international career with his role as a family man and father. Liv Corfixen documents, with uncompromising realism, her husband’s journey making Only God Forgives, the follow-up to the biggest film of his career to date, Drive. Corfixen’s camera follows Refn as he and his family decamps to Bangkok for the 6 month production of Only God Forgives, up to and including its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. It demonstrates the warm friendship between Refn and Ryan Gosling, gives the audience a glimpse of cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky's tarot readings for both Refn and Corfixen, and reveals first-hand that directing a large scale international film, while simultaneously keeping a wife, two kids, a cast of actors »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
As the cast slowly comes together for Nicolas Winding Refn’s next picture, The Neon Demon, a brand new trailer has been released for the documentary from his wife that focuses on his previous effort that split audiences right down the middle.
A mash of highs and emotional lows look to be on full display as Refn battles with himself and the test that weighs on his family and his filmmaking career. How did he handle working on the project that the world hoped would be just as huge a success as Drive was, and was the result a personal success for him to move on from a film that even he accept was both loved and loathed by many. »
- Nicholas Staniforth
After Bronson, Valhalla Rising, Drive, and Only God Forgives, Nicolas Winding Refn is one of the most exciting directors working today. Refn burst onto the film scene in the late 1990s with the delightfully nasty Pusher trilogy, and has continued to produce some of the most thought-provoking and visually spectacular genre-benders of any modern auteur. From Tom Hardy’s career-defining titular Bronson to Mads Mikkelsen’s feral One Eye to Ryan Gosling’s icy cold Driver, Refn has time and again crafted nuanced portraits of deeply conflicted but undeniably charismatic antiheroes.
In My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn, Refn’s own deep conflict is swinging in the breeze as we witness him wrestle with the particularly challenging production of Only God Forgives. Directed and shot by his wife Liv Corfixen over the duration of the production and subsequent Cannes debut, My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn captures the »
- Tom Stockman
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