Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1970. He moved with his parents at the age of 10 to New York, returning to Copenhagen at 17. After graduating from high school, Refn attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, but found the environment unbearable and was quickly expelled. Back in Denmark he was accepted by the Danish Film School but dropped out one month prior to the start of term. Having caught a short film by Refn on an obscure cable TV, a Danish producer offered him 3.2 million Danish kroner to turn the short into a feature. Thus at the age of 24, Refn found himself writing and directing his remarkable, hyper violent and uncompromising feature film debut: Pusher.
Pusher became a cult phenomenon and won Refn instant international critical acclaim. This spurred him to push the boundaries of his filmmaking further: the result was the close-to-the-edge, highly stylized and intricately gritty Bleeder, which premiered… read more
Sometimes I think this guy is just a pretentious filmmaker that tries to pass exploitation films as "arthouse" movies, and other times I think he is truly one of the best directors out there and one of the very few contemporary filmmakers that dares to take risks doing crude, violent and heavily atmospheric movies with a lot of artistic value and original approaches. Although I constantly jump to love and hate, you can count me in as a fan.
With each movie he makes, he seems to start from scratch, abandoning any techniques or themes he had built up previously and I like it.