"The original concept for the film was to make a movie about a man who wants to fight God," says Nicholas Winding Refn in the director’s statement for his upcoming thriller Only God Forgives. "That is, of course, a very vast obstacle but when I was writing the film, I was going through some very existential times in my life – we were expecting our second child and it was a difficult pregnancy – and the idea of having a character who wants to fight God without knowing why very much appealed to me."
And with the film’s premiere at Cannes this month and the theatrical release this July, we’ve already received an influx of promotional materials for the feature—from multiple trailers and stills, to a full track listing of the original soundtrack by Cliff Martinez. But the most valuable information on the Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas-led Thai boxing picture comes from Refn’s own musing on the project. We can speculate all we want on the stylized violence and sensational performances that have become a staple of Refn’s work but with this full statement, we get a closer look into the mind of one of modern cinema’s biggest heroes.
He goes onto compare the character of Chang from the film to One Eye in his 2007 feature Valhalla Rising and the Driver in Drive, saying that they’re all "rooted in fairytale mythology and have difficulties living in the everyday world. I can see that technically, there is a resemblance in their stoic behavior, silence, and fetishistic portraits even though they live in different times and are portrayed by different actors." And with the similar thread in his last three works, Refn notes that:
Only God Forgives is like an accumulation of all the films I’ve made so far. I think I was heading toward a creative collision, full speed ahead, in order to change everything around me and to see what would come after. I have always said that I set out to make films about women but I end up making films about violent men. Now that everything is colliding, it may end up turning things upside-down for me.
So with these thoughts in mind, there’s also a batch of new stills from the Bangkok-set film to feast your senses on. For the full statement head HERE and in case you haven’t been keeping an eye on this one, see HERE, HERE, and HERE for more on one of our most anticipated films of the year.