13 items from 2015
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
"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
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
It’s safe to say as Nicolas Winding Refn’s current muse, actor-turned-director Ryan Gosling, is also heavily influenced by his filmmaker friend. Take Gosling’s directorial debut “Lost River,” which is scored by dreamy analogue synth artist Johnny Jewel (who’s also in the bands Glass Candy, Chromatics Desire and Symmetry). Before scoring Gosling’s entire film, Jewel was probably best known for his musical contributions to Refn’s “Bronson” and “Drive.” So perhaps taking cues from his main bro (who has defended the actor’s film vigorously), Gosling tapped Jewel to write the entire score to his polarizing debut “Lost Rive,r” which some have compared to David Lynch, and yes, a little bit of Refn, too (here’s our review). In a press release from a few months back, Jewel said, "When Ryan e-mailed me the script my immediate feeling was that the whole film should be »
- Edward Davis
If you haven’t seen Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Bronson” yet, you really should. The outspoken and controversial Danish director broke into the mainstream with his neon-and-blood-slicked urban fairy tale “Drive," and swiftly rejected popular acceptance a mere three years later with the polarizing and underrated “Only God Forgives.” But it is 2008’s “Bronson” – a delirious kaleidoscope of psychotic violence, sickening humor, and eye-popping color schemes – that remains arguably his most vital work. It’s the film that made the world take notice of Tom Hardy, who gave his most over-the-top and entertaining performance to date (which is really saying something) as Britian’s most violent prisoner. And yet while the film certainly owes a modest degree of its stark-raving-mad energy to sources that run the gamut from “A Clockwork Orange” to Wagnerian opera, “Bronson” is its own strange potion. It’s certainly no more of a standard prison movie »
- Nicholas Laskin
In addition, Silver Reel Partners - the Zurich-based film financier that has put money into Under the Skin and the upcoming Maggie and A Hologram For the King - has come aboard to finance the film, which is based on an Andy McNab novel.
As previously annouced, SquareOne Entertainment has distribution rights for German-speaking territories but other presales include Odeon for Greece, Pt Amero for Indonesia, Sahamongkol for Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, Silverline for the Philippines, Gulf for pan Middle East, and D Production for Turkey.
The film will start shooting on April 13 in London, Paris and Budapest with Hungarian production company Pioneer Stillking Films.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Nicolas Winding Refn has finished casting his upcoming film The Neon Demon as principal photography is set to commence on March 30 in Los Angeles. Elle Fanning was previously cast in the lead role of the horror tale with a young female driven cast and she's now joined by Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks and Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road). Refn co-wrote the screenplay with Mary Laws and describes the origin of the story saying, "One morning I woke and realized I was both surrounded and dominated by women. Strangely, a sudden urge was planted in me to make a horror film about vicious beauty. After making Drive and falling madly in love with the electricity of Los Angeles, I knew I had to return to tell the story of The Neon Demon." Regular Refn collaborators are already aboard, which includes Matthew Newman (Bronson, Drive, Only God Forgives) as editor, »
- Brad Brevet
Stumbling across that list of best-edited films yesterday had me assuming that there might be other nuggets like that out there, and sure enough, there is American Cinematographer's poll of the American Society of Cinematographers membership for the best-shot films ever, which I do recall hearing about at the time. But they did things a little differently. Basically, in 1998, cinematographers were asked for their top picks in two eras: films from 1894-1949 (or the dawn of cinema through the classic era), and then 1950-1997, for a top 50 in each case. Then they followed up 10 years later with another poll focused on the films between 1998 and 2008. Unlike the editors' list, though, ties run absolutely rampant here and allow for way more than 50 films in each era to be cited. I'd love to see what these lists would look like combined, however. I imagine "Citizen Kane," which was on top of the 1894-1949 list, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The story of an overtaxed taxi driver (wholeheartedly embodied by Sundance acting-award winner Jack Reynor) forced to care for his mother (Toni Collette, even better) while she tries to drink herself into oblivion, the Dublin-set “Glassland” doles out a downbeat serving of kitchen-sink social realism with the sink itself thrown in for good measure, overflowing as it is with empty liquor bottles, dirty dishes and he broken dreams. Once again, “Pilgrim Hill” director Gerard Barrett gravitates toward characters too marginal to garner mainstream interest, while approaching his story with an elegant yet demanding ellipticism that overestimates the audience’s ability (or inclination) to connect the dots.
That’s not to say there isn’t something noble in Barrett’s uncompromised style, which flatters the intelligence of those alert and engaged enough to decipher its clues by dispensing with traditional exposition. Barrett plunges us directly into the septic squalor of Irish public housing, »
- Peter Debruge
Back in November it was announced that Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings star Sean Bean is set to star in an upcoming six-part retelling of Mary Shelley’s Gothic horror classic Frankenstein, and now ITV has revealed the full cast and synopsis for the drama series The Frankenstein Chronicles.
Set in Georgian London in 1827, The Frankenstein Chronicles has been created by Emmy nominated director and writer Benjamin Ross (The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, Torte Bluma) and writer Barry Langford (Torte Bluma). In the drama’s opening sequences, the Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel (Tom Ward), following a successful operation by Thames River Police to apprehend a gang of opium smugglers, recruits Marlott (Sean Bean). As he stands on the water’s edge, Marlott makes a shocking discovery. The body of a dead child is washed up on the shore and on further examination of the corpse, he »
- Gary Collinson
The Railway Man director aims to re-team with producer Chris Brown on Mr Crankypants, a black comedy in the vein of their 2003 hit Gettin. Square.
With Us-born, UK-based writer Brock Norman Brock he.s developing Don Don, a feature about the encounter between a New York millionaire and a Thai Buddhist monk, both named Don.
He.s attached to direct Choir of Hard Knocks, a drama about a group of desperate people who find dignity and purpose under the baton of their choirmaster, which Pip Karmel is scripting for producer Marian Macgowan.
Moreover, he.s in talks to direct an episode of Essential Media & Entertainment.s 6-part Jack Irish series for the ABC and he.s keen to work in the new series of Essential.s Rake. »
- Don Groves
One of the hardest things when you're casting a big giant Hollywood movie is dealing with the egos, schedules, and demands of movie stars. I learned many things from William Goldman's "Adventures In The Screen Trade," but first and foremost, I learned that movie stars are both an essential part of the process and that they can also be the biggest enemies to getting a film made. Tom Hardy is reportedly out of "Suicide Squad" now, and I can't say I'm shocked. Hardy seems like he has an uneasy relationship with the big giant movies that drive Hollywood right now. Sure, he'll make a "Mad Max: Fury Road," but I get the feeling that was more about working with George Miller than it was about being part of a franchise. Same with his Chris Nolan films. When Hardy makes something like "Locke," though, it seems like that's more his sweet spot. »
- Drew McWeeny
Last summer it was revealed that Elle Fanning is lined up to star as Frankenstein author Mary Shelley in Haifaa Al-Mansour’s romantic period piece, A Storm in the Stars. In addition to her role as Shelley, the actress is now looking to be involved in another horror-related project from another acclaimed director, as it’s been revealed that Fanning is set to star in Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon.
According to The Wrap, Elle Fanning is looking to star as an “aspiring model who is caught in a world of beauty and demise” in the female-centric horror film from Refn. Filming on The Neon Demon will begin early this year in Los Angeles, satisfying Nicolas Winding Refn’s desire to shoot another movie in the City of Angels (an itch he’s wanted to scratch since shooting 2011’s Drive).
It’s possible that The Neon Demon is »
- Derek Anderson
13 items from 2015
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