Drive's director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Top 10 Criterions

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Because no self-respecting auteur is without a few Criterion favourites, Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, director of Drive, revealed his top 10 Criterion. And what do you know, he's a fan of Seijun Suzuki!

#1 Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki) "Unique, brilliant, fantastic! I love this movie!"

#2 The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo) "I was twenty-four years old when I made my first film, Pusher (about the Danish drug underworld), and for it I stole everything I could, both visually and technically, from this film and Cannibal Holocaust."

#3 Vampyr (Carl Th. Dreyer) "Vampyr has always reminded me of a mysterious dream I once had when I was very little. The film has always stayed with me. I watch it before I make every film, and yet it still remains a mystery to me."

#4 The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton) "The Night of the Hunter is a perfect example of the strength of cinema, in which an image can say a thousand words, whereas in literature a word cannot show a thousand images."

#5 Videodrome (David Cronenberg) "This film is a great mixture of sex and violence."

#6 Flesh for Frankenstein (Paul Morrissey) "Flesh for Frankenstein is the only film I’ve ever wished that I had made."

#7 Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick) "In its perfect combination of directing, writing, cinematography, music, sound, and acting, this film is pure cinema."

#8 My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallström) "I saw this film with my mother when I was very young. It’s the only movie aside from It’s a Wonderful Life during which I’ve cried because I was happy."

#9 Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau)

#10 Branded to kill (Seijun Suzuki)

What happened to the last two?! Are they fillers? Branded to kill is such a Drive film. Or, rather, Drive is such a descendent of that killer-cool Suzuki film, no?

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4 Response to Drive's director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Top 10 Criterions

December 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

I see that a lot of people one might not expect to have kind things to say over a neo-noir heist/chase/whatever movie have had kind things to say about "Drive" but--

I hope you're not headoverheels about this thing? I mean, at the end of the day how good can it be? "To Live and Die in LA" good? Even that-- well, it's not "L'Avventura", no?

Am I too highbrow? . . .

January 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Think Michael Mann-Tarantino hybrid. And lots of Gosling.

L'Avventura? That's an interesting call. No, it's not L'Avventura. Its pulse is much more beastly.

January 2, 2012 at 1:27 AM

Poop, did I misdirect you about "L'Avventura"?!

I just meant: "To Live and Die in LA" is very tense and exciting-- and dark (I do need to see it again), but how high can tense neo-noir take us?

Doesn't this guy direct torture porn in Europe? You sound very excited about him! Auteur crush? . . .

You know, I actually wouldn't know who Ryan Gosling was if I met him. Funny all the stuff I don't know!

January 8, 2012 at 5:22 AM

I've only seen his Pusher series, so I don't know anything about torture porn? Drive could've been such a disaster, but it miraculously walked the fine line between camp and cool. That counts for something?


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