Jump to content


Photo

Drive


  • Please log in to reply
124 replies to this topic

#81 Nick Olson

Nick Olson

    Member

  • Member
  • 738 posts

Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:43 PM

Fair enough, Peter.

Yeah, I'm not trying to question your reaction or dispute that other people have shared it. I'm merely saying that just as many people have found Gosling's performance admirable, even if he's ultimately under the shadow of Refn's explicit direction. Plenty of people have commented on the film's unpredictability being effective as well. My aim has not been to question the "legitimacy" of your reaction so much as to question what seems to be your taking that approach yourself. You're certainly right to assert that the merit of these two points (Gosling's performance and the film's unpredictability) are, at least in part, connected to one another.

Sorry for my poorly worded sentence, but I didn't mean that you're not directly addressing the questions/points being raised, but that the film doesn't directly address them, per your reminders. But just because a film doesn't directly address or raise a question, does not make it a "false premise," by any stretch.

A character with no background and no relational ties (until his "boy meets girl" story) is a character that is lacking in content. I say it is a possibility that a well known actor playing this type of role will come across as Actor because we as the audience are filling in the character-void with content. It is not necessarily the case, but it is a possibility (just realized I said "necessary possibility"!).

#82 M. Leary

M. Leary

    Member

  • Member
  • 5,448 posts

Posted 30 September 2011 - 09:30 AM

I am really puzzled by Refn. I have watched about half of his films for whatever reason, and have really only liked Bronson so far. But even there, I had a lot of reservations that were confirmed in spades by Valhalla Rising (which if pressed, is the worst film I have ever seen).

Whatever Drive is about, it is eloquent in the same way Bronson was eloquent. I agree with above comments that trying to read the film within a "redemptive" framework is silly. Redemption is an irrelevant concept for Refn, which I felt was pretty well indicated from the get-go with the scorpion and frog reference. I have not read the book the film is based on, but the whole thing screamed Elmore Leonard to me even down to the garages and late-night pie a la mode eating. And Leonard is not really known for redemption either.

Even if Gosling's acting comes across as "acting" the whole film is really a giant act, so this didn't distract me at all. In addition, I can't think of a recent performance that captures barely contained rage as well as the diner confrontation. This rage is very well juxtaposed by the scenes he shares with the little boy down the hall, which are disarmingly tender. As a near middle-aged guy, I know what that kind of rage looks like and feels like, and this kind of anger may really be the key to Refn's filmography. Every film I have seen by him is about anger, and this anger often has no backstory at all. It is just present in the film and makes everything fall apart in the end. The kind of films we link with the concept of "redemptive violence" usually have a character that gets really really angry, but it is okay because they are directing it toward injustice, toward the bad guy. But in Refn's films there is usually an angry guy that is angry for no discernable reason. And throughout the course of the film this anger is never corrected or deconstructed, it is simply allowed to exist in balance with everything else. In other words Driver, like Refn, is a Taoist.

I am just rambling here, but so does Refn.

#83 Ryan H.

Ryan H.

    Riding the crest of a wave breaking just west of Hollywood

  • Member
  • 5,409 posts

Posted 30 September 2011 - 10:22 AM

I am really puzzled by Refn. I have watched about half of his films for whatever reason, and have really only liked Bronson so far. But even there, I had a lot of reservations that were confirmed in spades by Valhalla Rising (which if pressed, is the worst film I have ever seen).

I have to say that I'm puzzled by some of the favorable references to VALHALLA RISING that pop up in reviews of DRIVE. I finally made it through the whole film, and boy, is it terrible.

Edited by Ryan H., 30 September 2011 - 10:43 AM.


#84 LibrarianDeb

LibrarianDeb

    Member

  • Member
  • 232 posts

Posted 02 October 2011 - 08:48 PM

I really want to give this movie an unqualified endorsement. The lead actors especially Brooks, Gosling and Cranson are amazing and the film is beautifully shot and successfully does something different with the action genre. There are so many great moments I want to see again.

But I doubt I ever will because of the brutality of the violence. I need some explanation of the Driver's history to explain his change from "I don't carry a gun" to the senseless violence we see him carry out later on. Even so do we really need to see
Spoiler
No we don't. The phrase that keeps coming to mind is "violence porn."

#85 M. Leary

M. Leary

    Member

  • Member
  • 5,448 posts

Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:11 AM

The phrase that keeps coming to mind is "violence porn."


I fully understand your response to the violence here (and Drive is even kind of Refn-light compared to a few other of his films). But I don't think that terms like "gratuitous" or "violence-porn" are completely accurate. I think Refn's films are about a certain kind of inexplicable destructive anger, and the violence is a necessary counterpart to this. I am far more put off by gratuitous violence in a film that makes us feel better about what we are watching because it frames all this violence as "redemptive."

#86 David Smedberg

David Smedberg

    Ha! Mush.

  • Member
  • 1,117 posts

Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:57 AM

Leary, I didn't see the movie that way. The elevator scene could definitely be read that way, because he goes from a long-held-off expression of his passion for the woman just before lashing out at his attacker. But the scene that Deb mentioned -- I didn't see any anger there, just a stone-cold killer doing what he knew how to do. The key element is that he is good at killing, and that's because we as the audience probably are not, so we can vicariously enjoy him killing "for us"--and then, we can walk out feeling good about ourselves, because by the end, he's dead and thus we have some distance from him -- we can imagine we're not like him. We can have our cake and eat it too.

If I'm reading JO right, I can agree with this:

First of all, it's as recognizable as a Formula One racecar in its, well, formulaic elements. So of *course* it's about a bad guy trying to do some good before it's too late. But the film is so steeped in fantasies... the fantasies of the characters, and the lens of fantasy through which the story is told, that I think the movie asks us to join the joke of its own rather ludicrous fantasy... the idea that a bad guy can solve things by applying his destructive powers to the right cause.
...
If I see anything "redemptive" about this film, it's that it knows these stories can't be told seriously anymore. So it's self-conscious all the way through, right down to the theme song that wraps up the "message" with such a neat, shiny bow at more than one point in the film.

I don't feel the same way about the genre that he does, but I think he's gotten close to the essence of Refn was trying for. When JO says "joke", I see myself as trying to say the same thing by "imagined distance". In this case, I didn't "get" the joke, or didn't feel the distance, so I was repelled by the violence. But even if I hadn't been, I'd still feel that it was "gratuitous", in the sense that the violence is the meaning, it's not a key to a deeper meaning.

Edited by David Smedberg, 03 October 2011 - 08:58 AM.


#87 M. Leary

M. Leary

    Member

  • Member
  • 5,448 posts

Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:09 AM

Leary, I didn't see the movie that way. The elevator scene could definitely be read that way, because he goes from a long-held-off expression of his passion for the woman just before lashing out at his attacker. But the scene that Deb mentioned -- I didn't see any anger there, just a stone-cold killer doing what he knew how to do. The key element is that he is good at killing


But we have seen his anger in fits and starts. Refn poses this inexplicable anger as the underlying motivation for who Driver is and why he does what he does. There is a great deal of something in his past that qualifies this anger, but that backstory is unimportant. As you say, the key element is that he is good at killing. That is pretty much it. This has been the kind of character Refn has returned to again and again, and as I suggest above, Driver is more Taoist than anything. Refn sees dualities where most of us see moralities. We can't have our cake and eat it too because there is no cake. (Or as the meme goes: The cake is a lie.)

Either way, I end up at the same place as JO with this one, just from a different angle. Even if I don't care for the film that much, it is the first time I have found Refn interesting.

#88 Peter T Chattaway

Peter T Chattaway

    He's fictional, but you can't have everything.

  • Member
  • 29,474 posts

Posted 03 October 2011 - 12:14 PM

Nicholas wrote:
: But just because a film doesn't directly address or raise a question, does not make it a "false premise," by any stretch.

Well, I never said that the film was rooting its questions in "false premises". In fact, I explicitly doubted whether the film was raising any questions at all!

A "false premise" might be the assumption (or implication) that I need to "address" certain questions when I'm not even sure they exist in the first place. First the questions must be articulated (whether by the film or its defenders); *then* I can address them.

Ryan H. wrote:
: I have to say that I'm puzzled by some of the favorable references to VALHALLA RISING that pop up in reviews of DRIVE. I finally made it through the whole film, and boy, is it terrible.

I just noticed that it's available on Netflix, even here in Canada. I may have to watch this soon, just because.

#89 Persona

Persona

    You said you'd wait... 'Til the end of the world.

  • Member
  • 7,460 posts

Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:12 PM

I kinda thought this film sucked.

#90 Anders

Anders

    Globe-trotting special agent

  • Member
  • 2,922 posts

Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:47 AM

I kinda thought this film sucked.


But only because I liked it quite a bit, right?

#91 Thom Wade

Thom Wade

    Happy Go Lucky Meat Machine

  • Member
  • 2,949 posts

Posted 04 October 2011 - 11:48 AM


I kinda thought this film sucked.


But only because I liked it quite a bit, right?



I have long suspected this in general about the Arts and Faith community. Certain folks will hate a movie based on who seems to like it. :)

#92 Persona

Persona

    You said you'd wait... 'Til the end of the world.

  • Member
  • 7,460 posts

Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:35 PM



I kinda thought this film sucked.


But only because I liked it quite a bit, right?



I have long suspected this in general about the Arts and Faith community. Certain folks will hate a movie based on who seems to like it. :)

No, Anders is OK in my book cuz he likes the new LvT.

I don't know. I could go down the list. It just doesn't seem worth the effort. I haven't posted in a while cuz I'm simply not seeing that many movies. I guess I thought this would be the one to see. Eeh, I could've lived without it.

Liked the Mates of State-ripoff soundtrack though.

#93 Overstreet

Overstreet

    Sometimes, there's a man.

  • Member
  • 17,105 posts

Posted 05 October 2011 - 05:23 PM

Hey, Christian. Time to start your Christmas wish list:

Posted Image

#94 Ryan H.

Ryan H.

    Riding the crest of a wave breaking just west of Hollywood

  • Member
  • 5,409 posts

Posted 05 October 2011 - 05:24 PM

Nice.

#95 Peter T Chattaway

Peter T Chattaway

    He's fictional, but you can't have everything.

  • Member
  • 29,474 posts

Posted 09 October 2011 - 03:40 PM

Hmm, the story below seems to indicate the "backlash" is actually reflective of the audience, not the critics.

And now someone's suing, because she apparently felt that the trailer had promised her a Fast Five-style movie, and Drive was... not that.

#96 Overstreet

Overstreet

    Sometimes, there's a man.

  • Member
  • 17,105 posts

Posted 09 October 2011 - 04:48 PM

Hmm, the story below seems to indicate the "backlash" is actually reflective of the audience, not the critics.

And now someone's suing, because she apparently felt that the trailer had promised her a Fast Five-style movie, and Drive was... not that.


Hahahahahahahaha!!!

#97 Tyler

Tyler

    I right the outlaw wrongs on Mars.

  • Member
  • 6,143 posts

Posted 09 October 2011 - 05:19 PM

Hmm, the story below seems to indicate the "backlash" is actually reflective of the audience, not the critics.

And now someone's suing, because she apparently felt that the trailer had promised her a Fast Five-style movie, and Drive was... not that.


It gets harder to distinguish The Onion from the real world every day.

#98 LibrarianDeb

LibrarianDeb

    Member

  • Member
  • 232 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:04 AM

And now there's a Ryan Gosling Drive crocheted doll.

#99 Nathan Douglas

Nathan Douglas

    Overeager beaver of the sacramental cinema.

  • Member
  • 511 posts

Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:14 PM

Refn's Top 10 Criterions.

#100 Attica

Attica

    Celtic Creation Mystic, Film Buff- -oon

  • Member
  • 1,868 posts

Posted 25 October 2011 - 09:09 PM

Refn's Top 10 Criterions.




He likes Night of the Hunter..... so he must be alright.