This month’s The Directors series features the stylish, intense, polarizing, and unapologetically auteur films of Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. On April 8th, 9th, and 10th, join us for Only God Forgives, his intense, dark, and visually opulent 2013 reunion with Drive actor Ryan Gosling.
A depraved and ultra-violent vision set in a Bangkok underworld oozing with sin and decadence, Only God Forgives finds quiet American Julian (Gosling) thriving in Bangkok’s underworld as the manager of a Thai boxing club, from which Julian also runs a smuggling ring with his brother Bill. When Bill commits an unconscionable crime, he is killed by retired police officer Chang (a mesmerizing Vithaya Pansringarm), who is on a personal mission to restore order to his city. Already reeling from the loss, Julian’s world is turned further upside down when his mother Crystal (a scene-stealing Kristin Scott Thomas), a crime lord herself, arrives in Bangkok and orders Julian to settle the score with his brother’s killers, by any means necessary.
Perfectly complemented by a dark sensory score by regular Refn collaborator Cliff Martinez, and surreal, psychedelic cinematography by Eyes Wide Shut’s Larry Smith, Only God Forgives is easily the most audacious of Refn’s examinations of violence and masculinity, and stylish deconstructions of the silent stoic hero.
Sunday, April 8 – 9:30pm
Monday, April 9 – 2:30pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Tuesday, April 10 – 2:30pm, 9:30pm
“Mocking the improbable characters and bizarre juxtapositions is too literal and superficial a reading of this dreamy, entrancing movie.” – Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
“The film succeeds to some extent as a pure stylistic exercise, with a few fine Lynchian moments blurring reality with erotic and violent fantasies.” – Jon Frosch, The Atlantic
“A menacingly atmospheric mood piece that will not disappoint devotees of the Nicolas Winding Refn church of fetishistic hyper-violence.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter