'Drive': Nicolas Winding Refn discusses his grim fairy tale
With its gleaming, neon-lit nightscapes and a cast led by Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, the car-meets-noir thriller "Drive" is often a treat for the eyes. Even so, the film is punctuated by moments of graphic violence, which some critics — including the Times' Kenneth Turan — found gratuitous.
For "Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn, who recently attended the Envelope Screening Series, the film's unflinching gore is a necessary element of what he considers to be a modern fairy tale.
"The whole idea of the movie in terms of the structure really came out of the Grimms' fairy tales," Refn said. "The idea [was] that the film was basically about a man who falls in love with the purity of love."
Such fairy tales, Refn said, always start sweetly: "And then when it flips, it goes very dark and extremely violent in its tone and what you see. But in a way, you need that to counter the other."
Check out the video above for more of Refn's thoughts on violence in art — and to find out how "Pretty Woman" inspired "Drive."
— Oliver Gettell