Last night, Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest brutal beauty Only God Forgives became available for purchase on iTunes, and today the color-drenched Thai boxing revenge western will punch its way into theaters. But when it comes to directors such as Refn, you find yourself not only entranced by his work, but with the feverishness of his mind and how that filters out into the world.
Although his demeanor may be gentle, the way in which he speaks about his work and his own obsessions always packs a certain bite and whether he’s speaking to me about violation leaving a strong after taste or answering an audience Q&A, it’s hard not to be drawn to the him. And last Sunday, as part of their Summer Talks, Refn took to the stage at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
to discuss the diversely-reviewed Only God Forgives
and plenty more.
"Of course there’s a great pleasure in the act of polarization," he told me
. "You know you’ve touched people very deep if people can love or hate you for the same reason. But it’s never comfortable when people hate you, yet at the same time, you have to understand and respect the psyche and how it works. But I like the creativity of polarization because it means opposite ends, that’s almost what the films are: extremes."
So on this atrociously hot and sticky day, go hide away in a frozen theater with Only God Forgives
and make sure to check out his Summer Talk appearance below and read our conversation with Refn.