Nicolas Winding Refn occupies a unique place among active filmmakers but also a precarious one. Revered without being critic-proof, his films decidedly garner polarizing sentiments. As a whole his latest batch forms a loose trilogy lukewarm in its unmistakable predictability, while individually each film is phenomenal, posing a conundrum for anyone outside of his following of loyalists to introduce a Refn film to the uninitiated. Continue reading

Only God Forgives (2013)

Kristin Scott Thomas

Ugly and beautiful, alluring and repulsive, fluid and convulsive all at once, Winding’s latest exercise in ambivalence is as polarizing as the views it garnered though not without retaining a signature style. Combining a neon rich palette and bankrupt morals, featuring viscera for the sake of showcase, and a dreamy suspension amid poetic visuals, times stops in the striking and frustrating Only God Forgives. And in spite of a deeply intimated symbolism, maybe even a hidden meaning, one feels a better editing session may have been enough to vault it toward wider acceptance. That along with a second viewing. I would put money on the latter. Continue reading