The Neon Demon. This is Nicolas Winding Refn‘s best movie, haters. I think it was More Than One Lesson, their episode on this movie, where Tyler Smith talked about this being a perfect pairing: Refn loves image and surface and sheen, and here he finds characters to match. Mirrors everywhere, all-consumptive. Don’t forget it’s a horror movie.
My Refn power rankings:
- The Neon Demon
- Only God Forgives
- Valhalla Rising
Mad Max: Fury Road. Second viewing. (The first.) Felt a little drawn-out this time around. Still a visual delight and I love how they fleshed out this insane world.
The Neon Demon. If divisiveness was Refn’s goal, it seems he delivered. Lots of hate and eye-rolling for this one, and I get it to a degree (especially when the director is kind of a troll). But I liked it. I appreciated Lauren Wilford’s perspective. Movies are not just the stories they’re about, but also the way they are about it. Gotta make space in the world for demented fever-dreamy impressionist movies, too.
Mad Max: Fury Road. Ridiculously fun, and so refreshing. I do wish the dialogue were more intelligible. I would have killed for some subtitles or something in the first 10-15 minutes. Sneaky side-effect, though, is that it makes you dial in a bit more, and pay attention. On the other other hand, it doesn’t matter too much, though, as it’s a (very extended) chase film where the details don’t matter too much. (Made me think of Apocalypto in its relentlessness.) Furiosa joins a long, storied line of shaven-head heroines like Ripley, Lt. Ilia, LUH-3417, what’s-her-face in V for Vendetta, et al. Filed under: road movies.