This is director Nicolas Winding Refn, ask me anything
This is director Nicolas Winding Refn, director of "Drive," "Bronson," "The Pusher Trilogy, "Valhalla Rising," and "Only God Forgives," opening this Friday, fire away!
tweet to verify: https://twitter.com/RadiusTWC/status/357492060418359296
I could absolutely see making a trilogy
1) Wanna fight?
2) How did you do the head-smashing scene in Drive?
3) What's the point of the mask in Drive? Is it the Driver's way to fulfill his delusions of being an action hero?
1) sure! 2)A combination of prosthetic affect added in some CGI 3)yes, it is the idea of transformation
What does Gosling smell like?
Like a gucci perfume
One eye vs Bronson vs Julian vs the driver, who would win ?
Before you said that your movies are like a piece of music, Bronson was influenced by The Pet Shop Boys and Drive by electronic music such as Kraftwerk. Was there a specific style/genre that influenced you in development for Only God Forgives?
For this one it was mostly Thai Pop music
Who would win in a fight? Ryan Gosling from Drive, or Ryan Gosling from Only God Forgives?
Ryan Gosling from Drive, obviously
What's Mads like?
Hi Nicolas, thanks for doing this AMA. Your films feature the use of long pauses/silences within a scene and imdb has you quoted as talking about the power of said silences, I was wondering if you would you ever consider making a silent film (feature or short)?
I would like one day to make a completely silent film
Which director do you think has influenced your directing the most? Thanks so much for doing this.
For the moment it would be Richard Kern, but then I am married to Fritz Lang's daughter
What is your favorite thing you have ever filmed with a camera?
Was the Driver autistic?
Hello, Mr. Refn,
I am just letting you know that I am a huge fan of your work!
I actually had several questions:
I was wondering what your main influences were in the creation of Drive? Many people have pointed to older films such as The Driver or Michael Mann projects such as Thief and Miami Vice as possible sources of inspiration for story, setting, and atmosphere. What would you say your main inspirations have been?
Also, how do you pick your soundtracks? Your work introduced me to Kavinsky and College, for which I am grateful, as well as a whole genre of similar music. What would you call that genre, and what motivated you to use that kind of soundtrack in Drive?
What motivated you to set Only God Forgives in Thailand specifically?
I have been in several internet arguments about Drive in which other posters have insisted that Gosling's acting was "wooden," that the character was "flat," or even implied that the Driver is a high functioning autistic. I have argued time and time again that the Driver is meant to be deliberately mysterious and ambiguous, but many people seem to misinterpret this as flat or uninteresting. What would you say to the alternate character interpretations some viewers have proposed?
How do you feel about the computer game Hotline Miami (which many people have insisted is stylistically similar to Drive)?
btw the atmosphere of your films is excellent and you are great at stories with morally ambiguous protagonists. What are your next projects, and will they have similar themes?
1: the films of Kenneth Anger 2. retro pop 3. I realized that at night Bongkok was like a magical landscape 4. I've only heard of it, havent seen it, sounds great
Why were Drives hands a little dirty and not very dirty?
Hello Mr. Refn. I'm a massive fan of Drive and am eagerly awaiting Only God Forgives. So, my question is: which of Gosling's previous films made him 'fit' for Drive? (Please say Lars and the Real Girl) Thanks!
Would you make a film with Nicolas Cage if you got the chance?
Hej Nicolas! I noticed Gaspar Noe was thanked in the end credits of Only God Forgives. Are you fond of his movies? Is his work in anyway inspirational to you?
I love his movies but the thanks came more from the fact that he came to Bangkok to visit while shooting and it was cool to hang out
What is the best thing about working with Ryan Gosling?
he's a super cool ultra ego
I just want to thank you for doing this ama and I think you make beautiful movies. The 'theatre' bits in Bronson remind me why i love and enjoy the versatility and creativity of filmmaking. Please keep doing what you're doing.
Hello. Thanks so much for doing this! Have you read Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian," and if so, would you ever consider tackling an adaptation of it?
I havent read it, but have heard its very good
It seems you have a strong relationship with Alejandro Jodorowsky; he seems like a very interesting person, how'd you come to meet him?
we liked each other's films, it was a good way to start a conversation
How did you know Kristin Scott Thomas would be such a knockout as a blonde?!
I realized she had no problem turning on the Bitch Switch
Is it pronounced Wine-ding or wind-ing?
depends on which country you are from
Can you shed some light on Ryan Gosling's temporary break from acting?
its a loss to the world
Greetings Mr. Refn, as a fellow artist I consider you a great creative influence. My question for you today is regarding the present status of your remake of Logan's Run, have you officially lost interest in the project with Gosling's departure? Seeing as how thus far you've yet to delve into the territory of sci-fi thrillers, I'm also curious as to where you may consider drawing influence to bring such a world to life. Thank you
I felt that life is too short and felt there were other opportunities. it was a difficult decision as Logan's Run was an important part of my childhood
What are you working on right now?
my TV show, Barbarella
Cliff Martinez is doing an AMA in six days. What would you ask him?
tell us more drug stories
Hi Nicolas. So glad you could make time for us.
What is your dream project? If you had unlimited resources and no restrictions, what kind of movie would you pursue?
good question. having all elements at my disposal wouldn't be the right reason to make the movie
Thanks so much for doing this, I'm a huge fan of your work and I can't wait to see "Only God Forgives." Three questions for you.
1.Were you surprised at the reception "Only God Forgives: got at its Cannes premier? Why or why not?
2.You said that, in the case of "Drive", what interested you was not cars but people with fetishes for cars. Is the same case for "Only God Forgives"? Not about boxing but about people who have a fetish for boxing?
3.Finally, a cliché question, any advice for any young filmmakers started out today? Thanks again.
Did you ever see this fan poster? Do you think James Dean could've pulled the role off? http://content.animalnewyork.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Drive.png
its beautiful, imagine having that in your bedroom
How much sleep do you get in the various stages of filmmaking (prep, production, post)?
next to none
What was your inspiration to make Valhalla Rising?
a story my mother once read to me, a father and son team go together to the moon, on the moon they find a cave with a human coffin, and I can't remember what happened after
How is your relationship with Trier at the moment?
I have a lot of admiration for him
You've mentioned before how music influences your work, but I am wondering do other art forms? If so, how?
I very much like art installations
Hello Mr. Refn, just wanted to ask a few things
-What movie/ director was your biggest inspiration for getting into filmmaking?
-What were your first steps to becoming a filmmaker, and how difficult was it?
-What is the top priority for you when starting a new film?
-When you were filming 'Drive', did it cross your (or Ryan's) mind that you were about to make, hands down, one of the best films of the last decade?
1) there is not a single one 2) I was very lucky to have been able to make my first film at 24 3)getting it made on budget 4)not in any way (the worst thing is that there are people out there who would have said yes to that)
I'm a huge fan of your work - I'm seeing Only God Forgives tonight and I can't wait. My question is a two parter:
1) How did you feel the culture and atmosphere of Thailand affect your creativity for Only God Forgives, as compared to Los Angeles for Drive? Did you feel like one place was more creatively conductive than the other?
2) The Behind-The-Scenes footage of you and Ryan discussing the parallels between violence and sexuality were really fascinating and interesting - is there any chance of more footage being released as part of a Blu-Ray extra or something similar?
1) both places were very different and had different sensibilities...
What would you say to SyFy TV channel if they asked you to direct the next "Sharknado" movie?
I would say, I'm not good enough!
In an interview somewhere you said that by killing Harrison Ford in a movie you would contribute to society. Do you still pursue this?
Also, can you say anything about I Walk With the Dead?
I said it would contribute to film history, I would love him to death
How awesome is it to have a bromance with Ryan Gosling? I read somewhere that you guys are planning on doing a comedy, is it still happening?
working on it!
When are you going to do a film with Gaspar Noe?
I hope maybe some day
Hey Nicolas. I just want to thank you for Bronson, Valhalla Rising and Drive, three of my favorite films. One thing i am upset about is, since I read that your next film (Only God Forgives) was in production, I became so overwhelmed with joy, and have been waiting almost a year. Come to find out, the film is not being released in my state (Connecticut). Is there any way that you could get me a chance to see it? That would be amazing. Oh and also, whats your opinion on Stanley Kubrick's films and Bronson being compared to A Clockwork Orange?
Complain to your local distributor and then rent it On Demand on Friday :) Kubrick: I love them Bronson: sounds great to me
Just wanted to say I think Drive was a great film. Looks and feels a lot like De Palma circa Carlito's Way. I really like your minimalist use of a score to draw more attention to the lighting and really stunning photography.
What advice/tips/luck can you give to an aspiring film maker to help push the boundaries of their art?
do it your way
I take it you're in New York right now. Can I buy you a drink later?
would love to, but I don't drink alcohol
Hi Mr.Refn! Big fan! Fell in love with Drive, sometimes I'll just boot up the movie and watch the first 15 minutes for fun.
1) How's it like to have The Gos as your wingman/muse/bro?
2) What the story behind Logan's Run remake? On/Off? (answered)
3) Was Valhalla Rising in any way inspired by the Rime of the Ancient Mariner?
Thanks in advance, I can't wait for the responses!
1)like flying the Concord 2)my involvement is off for now, but stranger things have happened 3) not my knowledge
I love their work
I have no real questions, just want to say your rock. Pusher was amazing, but Drive changed my life. DR K showed an amazing documentary, following you around after Drive, the palmes in Cannes and during the beginning/prelude to 'only god forgives'. It was really an amazing thing to watch.
Thank you for this mr refn
In a hollywood of sequels, how do you feel when new ideas are introduced into such a highly saturated market?
when youre at a road block...how do you keep going?? What it is it in you that says no...fuck this, im almost there?
Thoughts on taco bells mountain dew baja blast? thanks again
Baja Blast? I'd be lying if I said I knew what that was
First off, Love your work, Nicolas. I consider you my favorite director of all time. Bleeder is incredible as well as your Pusher trilogy. I saw Drive in theaters and it became an obsession of mine.
1) As shown in the documentary NWR, your love for toy mechas knows little bounds. Have you seen Del Toro's Pacific Rim and, if so, what were your thoughts on the film?
2) At what point in your life were you in during the production of Bleeder? The film practically emits noxious fumes and it is singularly one of the most caustic pictures in recent memory.
3) How do you feel about Fear X as a project? I ask because when I first saw that film, for some strange reason, I began wildly sobbing for the first half hour. John Turturro evoked some repressed depression or something and I thought it was such a tragic film.
I'd have more if I wasn't so nervous but those come to immediate mind. Again, love your films and I will continue to follow your line of work with an ever-watchful eye.
1) I will be taking my 10 year old daughter to see it next week 2) I was young 3) its always good to feel failure in order to feel success
Mr. Refn, thank you very much for posting! I am a big fan of your films, particularly Valhalla Rising. Some questions:
Which of your peers, locally or internationally, do you admire the most? Who gets on your nerves the most?
Your film Drive garnered a massive following with the help of social media. Do you think this has helped or hindered the intrisic themes of the film?
Your films often vacillate between strong realities and strange, ethereal fantasies, but always display strong story-telling. What books/films/life events do you think have the biggest impact on your own work?
I have heard that you have a form of color blindness. Is this is true, how has this affected the way you work with others on the set, such as grips, gaffers, and your DP? Is it a barrier or can it function to add a new degree of creativity to your work?
How do you prepare actors for their roles? Some roles, such as One-eye and The Driver seem to require an intense focus. Did Mads or Ryan ever have trouble getting into the role?
Last and very certainly least. You have a rather cotroversial countryman named Lars Von Trier. What do you think of him and his work?
Thanks again! Can't wait to see Only God Forgives later this week!
- good question. I would say that in an odd way, creativity is about turning your weaknesses into strengths
What's your favorite TV show?
of all time "The Prisoner," right now it's "Breaking Bad". Time to sign off, hope you enjoyed. thanks to all Redditors for joining in!
I wanted to let you know that your film "Drive" is the film by which I judge new friends' taste in movies. Bronson was excellent as well, I'm trying to work my way through your catalog of works, but Neflix isn't cooperating! :/
1) Do you feel proud to be part of Tom Hardy's big break? Before Bronson, he was known (or not known, if you will) as "that one nobody bad guy in that terrible Star Trek movie".
2) Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, and even Albert Brooks (in one of my favorite "Holy Shit" roles) in one film. What was it like working with such a diverse and talented cast?
3) Being a European director, what are some things about American (or Hollywood) culture that surprised you? What are your favorite and least favorite things about America?
4) As a director who now has a good following of fans, what was the hardest part of "coming up the ranks"?
Thank you for doing this AMA, I'm a huge fan of yours and hope to enjoy more of your work! Here's wishing more commercial success comes your way. Cheers!
1) yes, sure 4)persuading financiers to give you their money and then getting distributors to release your movies
First off, I wanna say that I love and admire all of your work Mr. Refn. Now I know your movies have a reputation for at times being extremely violent, and at other times for being extremely soft and subtle. My question for you is, is this style and tone of your movies trying to elicit a specific response from the audience, or do you simply do what you love and not care how the audience responds to it?
I do it out of love for the audience
You're being asked for a lot of advice... Any advice you've been given that sticks with you?
the best I can say is what Elia Kazan told me when I was young, which was 'do it your way'
I don't know how to answser that I like them equally
Nicholas, this question isn't geared specifically for you, but I couldn't think of anything better and I've wanted to ask this of a filmmaker for awhile. I'm from Chicago, but am always dismayed at the lack of films that take place there, while countless films take place in New York and L.A. Off the top of your head if you had to suddenly make a film that took place in Chicago what would it be about?
I would say it would start with your streets
What would you rather fight; a hundred duck sized Ryan Goslings or one Ryan Gosling sized duck?
I'm a lover, not a fighter
Hi there. Just curious to know your approach regarding directing actors. Is most of the work done during discussions or rehearsals with the actors before shooting begins, or does most of the work come into play on set? Or is it a fine balance between both? Thanks in advance, you're films are incredibly inspiring.
its a combination, it never stops until its all over
Thanks for doing the AMA! I was entranced by Drive.
I read a film study of Drive that posited that you used different color schemes to signify different characters in the movie, and blended them depending on the situation or sequence. Is that true? If so, how literal did you intend it to be?
Describe Your Man Crush on Ryan Gosling in One Sentence or Less.
I believe it is the other way around
I love the Pusher films, Drive and Bronson. (Haven't seen Valhalla Rising yet, sorry.)
Is only god forgives in any way inspired by the Jean Claude Van Damme movie Kickboxer? I like to see it as a dark and gritty re-imagining of Kickboxer. Most people disagree.
how could it not be??
Was the main character really originally going to be abducted by aliens at the end of 'Valhalla Rising'?
I toyed with the idea
Do you believe in God, Valhalla, or something different?
I am a man of faith
Drive is probably my favourite film of all time, so good that I bought a replica of the Driver's jacket but when it arrived it was pink . . . anyway, how much influence did you have on the design of the jacket and did you realize that it was going to become the iconic symbol of the film?
I wanted Ryan to wear a white satin jacket, reminded me of my youth
What's the most head scratching studio note you've received?
I can't reveal that or I would be assassinated
How close is your final edit to to the script? I.e. do you tend to new ideas for pacing and seen organization in post?
usually quite different
Have you got your drivers license yet?
nope, and I never will
Why do you keep choosing Ryan Gosling for your movies? Is it because or in spite of his cute, juvenile face?
his hands look great on cinema
With Ryan Gosling's character in Only God Forgives being so similar to his character in Drive, could you see possibly making a trilogy of unrelated films that are focused on this character, kind of like Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy?
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