Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Nicolas Winding Refn Says He's Listening To Thai Country & Western Music For 'Only God Forgives'

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 10, 2011 at 2:55PM

Nicolas Winding Refn Says He's Listening To Thai Country & Western Music For 'Only God Forgives'
2

Director Teases At Horror & Sex Elements For Upcoming Film 'I Walk With The Dead' Starring Carey Mulligan

PHOTO Nicolas Winding Refn Says He's Listening To Thai Country & Western Music For 'Only God Forgives'

Exclusive: Since “Drive” premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival it has been celebrated, marking the Hollywood arrival of Nicolas Winding Refn (who won the Best Director award). Refn's unique filmmaking vision has already landed him a primo studio tentpole gig, Warner Brothers' remake of “Logan’s Run,” which will pair him up with his "Drive" star Ryan Gosling. Before that, however, Refn has a couple of other projects he'll get to first: “Only God Forgives,” another film with his new muse Ryan Gosling, and “I Walk With The Dead,” which reunites the director with Carey Mulligan. The Playlist spoke to Refn, who was calling in from the set of “Only God Forgives” on Wednesday, and the filmmaker teased about what we can expect from his next effort and offered a few insights about how – and why – he wants to make “I Walk With The Dead.”

Described by Gosling as the "strangest thing" he's ever read, the rough outline -- which probably doesn't do any justice to what the final film will look like -- centers on a Thai police lieutenant whose rivalry with a gangster sees the two settling their differences in a Thai boxing match. For Refn, "Only God Forgives" will very much be a culmination of his work so far.

"My 'Pusher' trilogy was very much about being rooted in reality, and after I completed those films, almost I think I went into the complete opposite direction, of heightened reality. 'Bronson' was obviously heightened reality and then 'Valhalla Rising' and going into 'Drive,' all of those three films are about transformation; they’re about protagonists who transform themselves in various ways. And you can even say that 'Bronson' is about a man who transforms himself when he realizes that art and violence are essentially the same thing – it’s the same core of emotion," Refn explains. "But the flip side is that he ends up in a cage; he builds his own castle. 'Valhalla Rising' is about a man who starts in a cage and escapes and goes through the five stages of evolution, and then ends up being human at the end, even though he starts as an enigma. 'Drive' is about a man who is human, but transforms himself into a superhero at the end for all of the right reasons. So for some strange reason I can see that 'Only God Forgives' is like a combination of all of those three movies."

One of the highlights of "Drive" belonged to its pulsating electronic score and curated songs that, though contemporary, were washed in the neon haze of the 1980s. But don't expect a repeat here as Refn, as usual, is going into a bold new direction sonically.

"The first thing I do is I try to figure out what kind of music it would be as a movie, because that’s the most important element for me to conjure up images," he says. "It’s a fetish, because I don’t do drugs any more; it heightens my reality, my emotional sense. And that’s always a struggle – what kind of music [a film] is. For 'Drive,' the feminine pop sound of early electronic music from Kraftwerk very quickly came, as in this would be the music, if the film itself was a piece of music. With 'Only God Forgives,' I started to listen to a lot of Thai country and western."

Of course, how that influence plays out in the eventual soundtrack remains to be seen, but one thing that hasn't changed for Refn is that the crew around him has some very familiar faces.

"I’m working with Mat Newman, the editor of basically all of my movies now post-'Pusher' trilogy. I’m working with [DoP] Larry Smith, who shot 'Bronson,' and I’m working with Beth Mickle, who was the production designer on 'Drive,' and I’m working with [composer] Cliff Martinez again."

Very exciting stuff. But even better, it appears his next film after "Only God Forgives" now has backing ready to go. "I Walk With The Dead" has been tantalizingly positioned as a sexual thriller of some kind with Carey Mulligan set to star. Details on what it's actually about have been kept under wraps, and it appears Refn is still piecing it together.

"Well, the film is financed, but it’s not done in my mind yet. The ingredients are there, and who knows what it will become? But I always wanted to make a horror movie, yet everything for some reason is till a mystery in my mind. And I felt it would be fun to do a movie about sex," he told us.

Refn described the nature of sex-based film as being "a huge medium," when asked how he approached and focused on the story. "I just sit and stare at a wall and think about what arouses me," he said.

Does he then examine the psychology behind that? "No, no, no, never ever. I never question it. Because if I did, maybe I wouldn’t do it."

"Only God Forgives" is now shooting. --reporting by Todd Gilchrist.

This article is related to: Nicolas Winding Refn, Only God Forgives, I Walk With The Dead


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates