3.24 – PUSHER and Consumerism

The next director at whose oeuvre we take a look is Nicolas Winding Refn, and we start with his 1996 feature-film debut PUSHER. After similar reviews of the film, we talk about what Refn might have been trying to do with this film, the division between narrative and aesthetics, and the ways in which this shines a light on consumerist attitudes of the time.

Next Week
Our Nicolas Winding Refn mini-season continues with his 2010 film VALHALLA RISING: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Valhalla-Rising-DVD-Mads-Mikkelsen/dp/B00355CGV8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520159868&sr=8-1&keywords=valhalla+rising.

This Week’s Media
CASE (2015): Baldvin Zophoníasson, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, Magnús Jónsson
UGLY DELICIOUS (2018): Morgan Neville, Eddie Schmidt, David Chang

TRAINSPOTTING (1996): Danny Boyle, Irvine Welsh, Ewan McGregor
KILL LIST (2011): Ben Wheatley, Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring
FORBRYDELSEN (2007?12): Søren Sveistrup, Sofie Gråbøl, Søren Malling
BROEN (2011?): Hans Rosenfeldt, Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia
We should start this week with a biography of Nicolas Winding Refn, taking note of his film-editing genealogy: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0716347. This slideshow is a good introduction to concepts of lighting in film: https://www.slideshare.net/shanovitz/lighting-in-film. We discussed the idea that this film was Refn’s response to an increasingly consumerist society, and the showiness of such lifestyles as that of the gangster rap artist; this book, published in the year PUSHER came out, is interesting on a similar subject: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zGC_ZNOrKDwC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&dq=cultural+commodity+gangsta+rap&ots=eTqDyX6yMu&sig=2V4qV0JrG50YSy_amuNtuCb6vfc#v=onepage&q=cultural%20commodity%20gangsta%20rap&f=false. (This book, more than a decade later, has further things to say about armed gang violence, a topic on which we didn’t really touch: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=LcMaQQ0wfL0C&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=cultural+commodity+gangsta+rap&ots=fUc7xm9BDN&sig=CSAJTJk48UUm6v9qHvXTC6wIw5o#v=onepage&q&f=false.) Finally, here’s a list of more-or-less-interesting facts about a film Sam mentions as a comparator, this week, PULP FICTION: https://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/50-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-pulp-fiction/86434.