A masterpiece of sight, sound, and mood that is as mesmerizing as it is polarizing, Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 Cannes award-winner Drive returns to The Frida Cinema as part of Chapman University’s Los Angeles in Film and Fiction series.
Drive is a deliberate and unapologetic work of pure auteur style, powered by a pulsating synthwave soundtrack and drawing many comparisons to the works of Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice, Thief), whose signature 80’s style was clearly an influence. Winding Refn’s film is as much a neon love letter to night-driving in Los Angeles as it is the story of Driver (Ryan Gosling), a skilled Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. Though he projects an icy exterior, he is (as the soundtrack reminds us) a real human being, and after he begins to develop a relationship with his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos), he gets drawn into a heist in an attempt to help her family. When the job goes horribly wrong, Driver must risk his life to protect Irene and Benicio from the vengeful masterminds behind the robbery – chiefly, violent mob boss Bernie Rose (comedian Albert Brooks in an extraordinary, Oscar-nominated performance).
Saturday, March 31 – 8pm
Monday, April 2 – 7pm, 9:15pm
Tuesday, April 3 – 7pm, 9:15pm
“★★★★. Buckle up for the existential bloodbath of Drive, a brilliant piece of business that races on a B-movie track until it switches to the dizzying fuel of undiluted creativity.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“At least half a dozen scenes are burned into my memory for life, including not one but two of the most jarring, heartbreaking juxtapositions of tenderness and violence this side of classic Kitano.” – Mike D’Angelo, AV Club
“Drive revels in sensory detail; it’s a visually and aurally edgy Euro-influenced American genre movie about the coolness of noir-influenced American genre movies about the coolness of driving – especially in L.A.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly