Filmmaker Retrospective: The Vicious Cinema of Nicolas Winding Refn


Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Nicolas Winding Refn is one of the most prominent filmmakers in contemporary cinema, not only in his own country, but worldwide. He has made nine feature films up to this moment, all of them written and some produced by him. In Denmark, he may only be less regarded than Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, and, of course, Carl Theodor Dreyer, the greatest Danish filmmaker of all time.

Just like Paul Thomas Anderson, Refn is a film school dropout. If there is a generation of directors remarkable for being self-taught, Refn certainly is one of its best examples. Refn’s oeuvre, in terms of quality, has ups and downs; nevertheless, it is so closely-knit that it is an easy task to acknowledge him as an auteur. His films explore the side of human condition that people hardly want to see on the silver screen: uncomfortable and uncanny scenes fueled by violence, not in a Tarantinesque style, but also in a rather peculiar way.

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