Ryan H.

Only God Forgives

17 posts in this topic

It appears that this film, ONLY GOD FORGIVES, will be Refn's follow-up to DRIVE. It's starring Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas and the IMDB story summary is "a Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster settle their differences in a Thai-boxing match." Apparently, Refn wants to return to low-budget genre flick territory.

I haven't seen DRIVE yet, but part of me wonders whether a good comparison to Refn might be John Boorman. A director with affection for big, stylistic statements, with instincts that don't always deliver, but nevertheless imbues all of his films with a kind of strangeness, whether they're independently financed pictures or big studio flicks (we'll have to see his LOGAN'S RUN film to see if that bears out, but I can't imagine it will be conventional studio fare).

Edited by Ryan H.

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It may be premature to start a thread for *this* film, but it's worth mentioning as yet another Winding Refn project in the works.

Edited by Overstreet

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FWIW, Mike D'Angelo has been tweeting a fair bit lately (starting here) re: how the director's surname is "Winding Refn", not "Refn".

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FWIW, Mike D'Angelo has been tweeting a fair bit lately (starting here) re: how the director's surname is "Winding Refn", not "Refn".

Good to know.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I'm reminded of a comment M. Leary made in the HOUSE OF CARDS thread:

"We are now in an age where the venn diagram between cinema, TV, music video, and even commercial is becoming artificially close. Which in turn forms us into more generalized versions of what is actually good and true about proper cinema. Film is going to be the loser here."

Edited by Ryan H.

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AV Club's Mike D'Angelo:

Only God Forgives is the worst movie I’ve seen this year, by a good margin; it does have the courage of its moronic convictions, though, and that does count for something. Better striking garbage like this than tasteful mediocrities.

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Jeffrey Wells:

Movies really don’t get much worse than Nicholas Winding Refn‘s Only God Forgives. It’s a shit macho fantasy — hyperviolent, ethically repulsive, sad, nonsensical, deathly dull, snail-paced, idiotic, possibly woman-hating, visually suffocating, pretentious. I realize I sound like Rex Reed on one of his rants, but trust me, please — this is a defecation by an over-praised, over-indulged director who thinks anything he craps out is worthy of your time. I felt violated, shat upon, sedated, narcotized, appalled and bored stiff.

I hate all that cheap Asian macho shit to begin with (seething rage, swords, vengeance, territoriality, kickboxing, bloodlettings) and this rancid fantasy wank pushed all the bad buttons from the get-go. I sat there seething, my teeth grinding. Thank God it lasted only 90 minutes.

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And it was two years ago today he won Best Director at the same festival.

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LAFF added a screen to its special screening of this. Both are on rush.

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That is depressingly limited artistic vision.

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Just bit the bullet and watched this. Almost turned it off after a half hour. So much of it is pretty...It's just...empty. One review said Gosling spoke 9 words. By our count is was 94. Ten times more, but still: I could count them. That's a word a minute.

I'm not glad I watched it, but I am glad I didn't pay theater prices. Thank you, iTunes.

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What an awful film.  I don't know what Windin Refn was going for visually, but it ended up as a strange hybrid of Peter Greenaway and Alejandro Jodorowsky.  I read a lot of criticism about the over the top violence, and while some early scenes were graphic, I thought the violence got more ridiculous as it went on.  The audience I saw it with started laughing at some of it.  By the end, I wasn't sure if the character of Inspector Chang was more deadly with assorted skewers, his sword, or the karaoke microphone. 

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The audience I saw it with started laughing at some of it.  

 

That seems an appropriate response. I would rather hear people laughing at this kind of nonsense than getting all blustery about it.

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I expected to hate this, and it is awful. But it is growing on me a bit. I am wary of praising a film for merely being a pure collection of its director's worst habits, but there is something guileless about ONLY GOD FORGIVES as pure Refning (the bizarre stage-as-release segments, the utter dispassion, the misogyny, the torture that is always modulated by film-school-tasteful pregnant pauses). I guess I prefer this to Refn gumming up something with its own outside merits.

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