Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

"Pusher": This Weekend's Must-See

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik August 18, 2006 at 2:28AM

"Pusher": This Weekend's Must-See
0

Grisly, tense, penetrating dramas, Nicholas Winding Refn's "Pusher" trilogy of character-driven Danish crime films open together at New York's Cinema Village theater today. The particular movie house holds a special place in Refn's heart -- he fondly recalls seeing his favorite film, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" there when he was 14-years-old.

While the Pusher films aren't as gory -- at least not until the climax of the trilogy -- they do convey a similarly barren existentialism. Each of his protagonists are trapped in their own personal hells, surviving moment to moment in an underworld with only more traps at every corner. One could make comparisons to the social portraiture of "The Sopranos" or the gritty realism of "Mean Streets", but the Pusher films are really their own European beasts, boasting a collection of unseemly E.U. characters all struggling to get along, or rather, fuck each other over. There's probably a parable about the New Europe hiding somewhere beneath the drugs, beatings, torture, killings and human trafficking. But mostly, it's just dirty, harrowing fun.

I first met and interviewed Refn at Sundance 2003, where "Fear X," his first English-language film (a slow-burning nightmarish thriller co-written with Hubert Selby, Jr.) premiered. The movie bombed, bankrupted his production company and got zero traction in U.S. theaters when it was finaly released. But I still have a soft spot for this renegade auteur.

"I never understood why in all other art forms it's a good thing if it's interpreted or surprising or different, whereas film has to be more and more prepackaged product," he told me. "Which is the same reason you have to spend so much time stuffing it down their throats so they'll see it."

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Tony: I saw this with my girlfriend. She was completely taken in by it. This movie is no better than a soap opera. Absolute drivel, pandering to…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 1:03am

By Joe Britz: While rape is a horrible crime, it doesn't mean we simply toss Blackstone out the window. The foundation of our justice system is innocent…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 12:31am

By Amelia: It reminds me of the Dark Ages, where people would accuse a woman of being a Witch and everybody would simply believe the accusation because…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 3:25pm

By Joe: There is no rape culture. Rape is a sickening and illegal act but apparently there are some who want to return to the old fashioned lynch mob…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 1:31pm

By roosevelto: I think that this movie is many things, one of those is political. Even if we suppose that it wasn't Afflec's intention, when has become…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 5:08pm

By roosevelto: I watched the movie with the most naive eyes possible. I said to myself, don't care about facts, don't care about propaganda, don't care abou…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 4:53pm

By Anthony Kaufman: "The Look of Silence" will definitely be on next year's list! It hasn't opened in the U.S. yet.

The Top 12 Documentaries of 2014

Jan 3rd, 2015 1:09pm