By David Zou
Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” is his 2011 film based on the novel of the same name by James Sallis. It was nominated for an Oscar for its sound editing, an honor completely deserved.
Its particularity lies in the fact that it is a successful action movie that overcomes the genre limitations; at the same time, it is appealing to the so-called mainstream audiences and arthouse film buffs. A character in the film, Bernie, says: “I used to produce movies in the 80s. Kind of like action films. Sexy stuff. One critic called them European. I thought they were shit.”
Refn was born in Denmark, but went to New York just before he turned 11. The mixture of his European background and American upbringing is particularly significant for Refn’s work; to take an example, his Bronson seems to be deeply influenced by Kubrick, but also has some European arthouse qualities. This quote from “Drive” seems like self-irony on the part of Refn; he is most likely tired of people trying to classify him as European or whatever.
The film seems to be heavily influenced by Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï, namely, Ryan Gosling’s character is possibly modeled after the main lead in Melville’s film. The main difference is that the Driver lives the life that the humanist authors called vita activa (active life), while Melville’s character is completely detached from his surroundings and engages with other people only when necessary.
“Drive”, although simple at first sight, is full of divergent meanings, cultural tropes and philosophical subjects. The same as with a painting; firstly, the film has to be experienced and then analysed in order to be enriched with the limitless world of “Drive”.
1. Outstanding cast
The casting couldn’t have been better. Ryan Gosling is perfect for the role with his → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema