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Jon Vickers
IU Cinema

Last modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Danish filmmaker and provocateur Nicolas Winding Refn to speak, screen films at IU Cinema

Aug. 28, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Provocative Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn will visit Indiana University Cinema this fall, where he'll screen four of his films and deliver a Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture.

One of modern cinema's polarizing figures due to his ultra-violent yet stylish films, Refn's work often features quiet men who commit savage acts while drifting through their respective worlds. He's known to many in the U.S. for his 2011 film "Drive," featuring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, which premiered that year at the Cannes Film Festival.

Nicolas Winding Refn

Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn will visit IU Cinema. Image courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Print-Quality Photo

His new film, "Only God Forgives," received mixed reviews at Cannes this year, according to London's Daily Telegraph, which reported Refn's response: "Whenever I've found a formula that's brought me success, my first instinct is to tear it all down, for the sheer fact of making sure that I don't do it again. Being predictable does not interest me. The chief enemy of creativity is being safe, with good taste." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "This is a horrifically violent movie-movie of art-house pretensions and self-congratulatory skill, in which every frame, every musical note, every line reading is delivered in a way that demands our admiration, or at least our attention."

Refn will speak at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at IU Cinema, where he'll discuss the work of Andy Milligan, a filmmaker whose work and legacy he has worked to restore. The talk will be led by Jimmy McDonough, a writer known for his biographies of Neil Young, Tammy Wynette, Russ Meyer and Andy Milligan. No tickets are necessary for the lecture, which is made possible through the support of the Ove W Jorgensen Foundation.

"Refn blends visceral genre thrills with a seductively cold vision of human dysfunction," IU Cinema Director Jon Vickers said. "His films explore dark, violent issues in a heightened, overemphasized and artistic way. They are not for everyone, but I applaud him for going there."

IU Cinema will screen four examples of Refn's work in a series titled "Art as an Act of Violence:"

  • 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13 and Sept. 14, "Only God Forgives" -- Julian's mother comes to Bangkok with a score to settle, and the boxing club owner is pushed into taking revenge.
  • 9:30 p.m. Sept. 13, "Bronson" -- Based on a true story, this film follows the metamorphosis of a young robber into Britain's most dangerous prisoner.
  • 3 p.m. Sept. 14, "Drive" -- A loner's life changes when he meets a waitress, an interlude that stops abruptly when her husband is let out of prison early.
  • 9:30 p.m. Sept. 14, "Valhalla Rising" -- A Norse warrior and his companions find themselves in an unknown land where, as they confront their fate, the warrior discovers his true self.

Refn is expected to attend all related events on Friday, Sept. 13.

Tickets for the films can be obtained at the IU Auditorium Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; one hour before any screening at the cinema; or by phone at 812-855-1103 for a $10 service fee per order.