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Drive Director Refn Talks Scouting Gritty L.A. Locations with Gosling, Interactive Map

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage and Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood September 2, 2011 at 8:14AM

Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn traces the various locations across Los Angeles in his interview with Movieline, which features an interactive road map of the urban terrain (below, with trailer). Drive, rather than show Los Angeles gloss and style, uses the grittier locales of the downtown, Reseda, and Echo Park neigborhoods--areas not frequently seen in movies about the City of Angels.
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Thompson on Hollywood


Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn traces the various locations across Los Angeles in his interview with Movieline, which features an interactive road map of the urban terrain (below, with trailer). Drive, rather than show Los Angeles gloss and style, uses the grittier locales of the downtown, Reseda, and Echo Park neigborhoods--areas not frequently seen in movies about the City of Angels.

Because Refn doesn't have a driver's license, he rode shotgun as the film's star, Ryan Gosling, drove him around on the hunt for places to shoot. It surely helped that Gosling used to live in Downtown LA's Skid Row and knows how to drive (he did his own stunts for the film).

Refn says; “I’m very much a fetish filmmaker in the sense that I just shoot what I would like to see,” the director said. “Not always understanding it, but just instinctively knowing that it would be interesting to make it like this." Gosling shares lots more about their collaboration and bromance in our interview.

Refn explains that he wanted to take a tourist's perspective of the city: "I wanted to live the life of a European filmmaker in Los Angeles, coming to a city that I didn’t know, that I only knew from cinema and mythology."

More at Movieline.

Thompson on Hollywood

This article is related to: Box Office, Directors, Genres, Headliners, Video, Interviews , Fall, Action, Trailers


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.