Popcorn Taxi and Icon Films present a special preview screening of ONLY GOD FORGIVES – winner of the Sydney Film Prize at the recent 2013 Sydney Film Festival – preceded by an exclusive Q&A with director, Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), live from Los Angeles.
The thrilling second Hollywood film by the lauded Danish director is a visual tapestry of totems and portents splashed with violence and subtext. A movie that cannot be ignored and will not ever be forgotten. Don’t miss your chance to see the film that has the entire film industry talking. Director Nicolas Winding Refn will join us prior to the screening via a live cross from Los Angeles to discuss this iconoclastic film and to answer all of your questions.
“Kristin Scott-Thomas is…a shining light in a gleefully profane black widow role.”
Critics are polarised by ONLY GOD FORGIVES: is it Death Wish or Old Boy? You decide. Either way, this is the film to see this year. Don’t miss your chance to hear what the director has to say about his most exciting film yet.
“Boy is it going to be divisive. More art film than drama, this is an immaculately constructed production where every shot is a masterpiece. Just try to look away.”
Set in the neon-lit grime of backstreets Bangkok, ONLY GOD FORGIVES sees Ryan Gosling in his second stint as a stoic anti-hero for director, Refn, as the enigmatic Julian, a Thai boxing club manager and drug-dealer. When Julian’s tightly-wound brother, Billy (Tom Burke) murders a prostitute and is then killed by her vengeful father, Julian’s mother, Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas) catches the first plane over with murder on her mind. She orders Julian to take revenge on his brother’s killers. The implication, if he doesn’t, is as clear as his mother’s name.
“Only God Forgives was met with applause by an audience that really wanted to see something risky in the sea of safe players offered up so far at the film festival… What it means ultimately will likely depend on your own thirst for such an exercise.”
Our Guest: Nicolas Winding Refn
From his first appearance as a guest of Popcorn Taxi for the stunning Drive in 2011 listen to our exclusive interview audio), Nicolas Winding Refn has been upturning expectations with his every project. From the stunning VALHALLA RISING (starring the magnetic Mads Mikkelsen) in 2009, the director has displayed the banality of violence in myriad forms in each of his movies. “I always set out to make a movie about women but end up making movies about violent men,” says Refn. To those who see the violence in his films as a negative, Refn says: “Well, art is an act of violence. It is about penetration, about speaking to our subconscious and our moods at different levels.” From VALHALLA RISING to DRIVE to ONLY GOD FORGIVES, from laudits to brickbats, Refn—who doesn’t care if you like it or hate it, as long as you don’t forget it—is one of the industry’s most interesting filmmakers.
“Like exploitation enthusiast Quentin Tarantino, Refn is that rare lover of bad movies who also has the chops to elevate grindhouse material to the stature of art… The trouble is, he’s in such expert command of technique (reteaming with Bronson d.p. Larry Smith and Drive composer Cliff Martinez) that few will see beyond the surface.”
Peter Debruge, Variety