Ha ha ha ^
It’s creepy when old guys insist on wearing leather from head to foot. Aging rockers are kinda pathetic…
By the by, it would have probably been better if his jacket did not have a fat scorpion. (“You’re just a BIG, FAT scorpion”)!!
hahahahha @ Matt
I was thinking of John Hughes and 16 Candles, actually,” confesses Refn
This is why I don’t put much stock in what director’s say. :) I mean, I don’t doubt he was thinking about this while filming the scene, but I think it’s more a guide of how he approached the scenes more than an indication of the film’s meaning.
Your explanation of the mask (especially the part about Nino thinking that he was hit accidently) is somewhat convincing—although the mask looks pretty fake, so we he peers into the store, I thought that was brazen and a bit foolish. Suppose someone opened the door and spoke to him. The mask would be obvious, as it looked pretty odd. Still, I think your interpretation is the best one so far.
But can’t you sort of see the Hughes thing now that you’ve heard it, Jazz? OK maybe it’s really more of a Pretty in Pink vibe than 16 Candles (actually “The Driver” seems like more of a Lloyd Dobler-type—“Say Anthing” kind of works as an alternative title for the film even, but maybe that’s get too far afield). Refn insisted in another interview I say that for him the film’s concept crystallized while he was driving around under the influence of cough medicine, crying and listening to REO Speedwagon (speaking of “aging rockers are kinda pathetic”).
But can’t you sort of see the Hughes thing now that you’ve heard it, Jazz?
I’m having a hard time seeing that connection. First of all the tone of the opening seems more like an early 80s vibe, similar to a film like Into the Night or Gotcha!—not a John Hughes film. The Neo New Wave music also created that sensation. (The font and pastel pink could be a seen as a reference to Hughes, I guess.)
The only connection I get is the innocent girl-next-door quality of Carey Mulligan. She also has that bobbed hair cut a la Mary Stuart Masterson in Some Kind of Wonderful—but that seems like a stretch. Yeah, there’s a shyness between the characters, but that happens in a lot of films, not just John Hughes ones. I don’t know.
Btw, do people agree that there’s a reference to the early-mid 80s (‘82-’84)? And is this a harbinger for the return of the 80s? (“I’m going to keep on loving you…‘cause it’s the only thing I wanna do-oo. I don’t want a sleep, I just want to keep on lovin’ you-oo-ooo!”)
oh god forbid. i’m going to see this tonight
crying and listening to REO Speedwagon
And is this a harbinger for the return of the 80s?
We’ve been returning there for years. LA I think hasn’t really ever let go. (WTF)
Can we PLEASE move on and do something MODERN? Geez…
We’ve been returning there for years. LA I think hasn’t really ever let go.
Really? I haven’t noticed this. I’m thinking of fashion and music, especially—and I’m thinking about teenagers. The teenagers haven’t gone back to this, at least in Hawai’i. (There was a return to the 70s in the 90s and early 2000s.)
You’re in Hawaii, Jazz. Get with it! ;)
Yeah, we’re usually one step behind when it comes to fashion. (In my case, many steps would be more like it. :)
The return to the ’70s was going on in NYC when I last lived there, which was like 14 years ago.
So yeah… :D
LA is an ‘80s kind of place. Ever since we moved here, we noticed there’s this ongoing fascination with that decade in music. It’s hard to explain, but it’s definitely ingrained. You’ll hit at least one radio station (in actuality always more) while searching around that plays ’80s music like, FOREVER.
Having been a teenager and college student then, it can be pretty damn boring to have to hear that stuff AGAIN.
To see it come back fashion-wise, well I’d rather be wearing slim fitting jeans and converse high-tops than the bellbottoms I was forced to wear as a child.
Still, it would be nice to MOVE ON and get some new ideas already.
BTW, young people who dress as punk rockers and goths in this day and age, when that was so “rad” when I was growing up, make me laugh. I have no idea why those styles live on. They’re not rad and they’re not new. At all.
You’ll hit at least one radio station (in actuality always more) while searching around that plays ’80s music like, FOREVER.
Wait. I’m talking about something else. We have radio stations that play 80s music (and the music has become the musak of certain restaurants and stores), but I’m talking about new music being made that has an 80s sound. You know how Stray Cats, Los Losbos, Billy Joel and Huey Lewis were making modern pop music in the 80s with a retro 50s sound? I’m talking about modern pop musicians making retro 80s music. (The soundtrack in Drive has a retro New Wave-pop sound, imo.)
than the bellbottoms I was forced to wear as a child.
I thought that would never come back; that an the afro, which came back for a while here.
@Jazz — the music influenced by the ‘80s, that I’m not sure about. I’ve heard some stuff but nothing that blows me out of the water with a whole ton of synth. Have you?
Yeah, the bellbottom thing was definitely a “why.”
I’ve heard some stuff but nothing that blows me out of the water with a whole ton of synth. Have you?
No, but that’s what I mean by Drive being a harbinger of a retro-80s thing. (Btw, it’s not like I really want to hear contemporary pop musicians go back to the 80s, although for nostalgic reasons, it might be nice…for a little while, anyway.)
“Yeah, we’re usually one step behind when it comes to fashion.”
I saw recently that Maui was ranked as one of the worst dressed cities in the world. I quite like vintage Hawaiian shirts but I imagine that’s not what people wear there these days.
Yeah, the soundtrack has a nice 80s Italo europop sound. I don’t generally read too much into lyrical choices of “theme songs” but considering we were talking about heroism in the film, I think it’s interesting that the theme song links a “and a real hero” to “real human being” (which obviously the character isn’t).
“crying and listening to REO Speedwagon
As far as I’m concerned, if Can’t Fight This Feeling or Keep on Loving You doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, there’s something wrong with you.
^ha ha ha, Ari — I think there are a lot of things wrong with me. ;)
Well, that’s probably due to all the mainlanders moving over there with their vintage aloha shirts! :) (Btw, aloha shirts are quite common—as they are the standard business attire—of course, they’re not of the lucky poker shirt variety. ;)
Back to the film…
I think it’s interesting that the theme song links a “and a real hero” to “real human being” (which obviously the character isn’t).
I haven’t listened to all the lyrics, but my sense was that the song signifies the Driver becoming a real human being by being with Irene and her son. They bring out and complete his humanity…of course, he has to abandon that in the end.
there really isn’t a whole lot to the music lyrically. but i agree your interpretation Jazz of the song’s syntax with the Driver.
when the driver wears the mask and pears into the restaurant sure i can see him wearing it to protect Irene. but as stated before the mask is fairly unconvincing if he was talked to or spotted.
it is interesting how most of the characters wanted more. they were not satisfied with contentment. I feel as the Driver was looking for contentment, almost had it but lost it because of the events which perspired.
Wasn’t the music for Bronson similar. As I recall, the music in Bronson reminded me of Alphaville (which, you have to admit, is super awesome).
sorry, did the ending make no one think of taxi driver? the song insistently repeating a real hero was so travis bickle :P another variant of le samourai
@jazz- definitely a gangster film
not sure what i’ll rate it yet. enjoyed it but nothing really new? i did like it better than refn’s last couple but that could be down to gosling. tres 80s- LA- michael mann style :) i shall read the rest of the thread now
Gangster film, huh? Well, they seem sort of secondary to what the film is about; the gangsters are just villains. Then again, I wouldn’t argue with you.
No, I didn’t think of Taxi Driver at all, but I guess I can see the connection. To me, the films and characters are pretty different.
So what’d you think of the film overall?
i tend to like the genre so – i liked it. loved the pink font lol. and it was fun to notice one of the ADs was frank capra III. wonder what grandpa would think. and actually the gangsters are driving the plot. there’s no film without them. thus, gangster film (for me at least) :)
whoever said the bit about ‘what it means to be a man in the post modern world’ hit it. of course there are a ton of films about that already. including all of refn’s. i read he says he’s making a women’s picture next. that should be interesting. this was the first of his films with a viable female character that i’ve seen lol. and i don’t think she was that well developed or much more than a plot device to be frank (like jodie foster)
Wait. I’m talking about something else. We have radio stations that play 80s music (and the music has become the musak of certain restaurants and stores), but I’m talking about new music being made that has an 80s sound.
Yes, that’s been quite a trend for awhile. I used to follow the Valerie record label’s blog for awhile and there’s SO MUCH music like that being made, and it’s quite popular around here. Valerie is the label that put out that College song.
You’ve really never heard of Chromeo and Calvin Harris? These two acts got quite popular for awhile, maybe they still are, I’m not sure.
Ari – “In fact the bursts of violence seemed driven by something that was so disconnected from the character during his other moments that it gave me pause about how I thought about him but certainly not positive. That odd sense of disconnect and alienation evident in the violent scenes isn’t even wrestled with or made overt like it is in Cronenberg’s History of Violence. To me, the character is neither sympathetic nor unsympathetic.”
This is the thing I keep coming back to since I saw this movie. During/after the skull-crushing scene I was fairly disturbed (moreso than Mulligan’s character, who seemed oddly okay with it all), partly because it reminded me of “Irreversible,” partly because it occurred in such quick succession after a hyper-romantic scene, but mostly because of what Ari said. There is no explanation for the Driver’s loss of control/extreme violence in this situation – unless you create your own reasoning. The film itself doesn’t explore this and I wish it did, because, as of now I’m unsure how I feel about the character. At times he seems naive, but after these bursts of violence, he seems at least aware that what he did was… abnormal. But there’s no further exploration as to – a) why he is this way and b) how he feels about it.
By the end of the film, after all the violence, after the dust has settled, he seems satisfied with himself and the end result, leading me to believe he has no qualms about what he’s done. Thoughts?
As for the whole “mask” thing – I’m thinking he did this simply to intimidate Ron Perlman’s character. However, if you wanted to read more deeply into it, you could say that after that elevator scene, and after Irene witnessed his lose control, maybe he felt guilty/realized his psychotic nature and wore the mask as a means of hiding this part of himself because he was ashamed of it? Maybe I’m way off here. But it crossed my mind.
This interview – http://www.avclub.com/articles/nicolas-winding-refn,61788/ – is pretty decent and some of you have already pulled quotes from it. It goes into Refn’s influences, etc.
The use of music didn’t seem complicated to me. First and foremost it was used as most music in film as used – to establish mood/tone/atmosphere. I think the pop songs used contained lyrics loosely tied to the themes of the film/Gosling’s character. Again, as someone here mentioned – “A Real Hero” – is the song that plays during the moments of bliss between The Driver/Irene and at the end of the film – implying that he’s a real human being when he’s with Irene. I think that’s what Refn was going for, as he keeps describing these segments as “pure” and “innocent” love; a “fairytale.” And I suppose the second use of this song at the end of the film implies that he’s become a hero. Again, as someone else mentioned, that’s not something I’m sure I agree with. Although technically he did save Irene/her son. Thoughts on this?
To address your masculinity point, Jazz – I don’t think the film is about “maleness” per se or what it means to be a guy. I think The Driver uses a facade of manly cliches to hide or ignore his more conflicted, violent interior. I also think the character’s more comfortable doing these “manly” things, namely working on cars and driving. We see him being pretty awkward socially, coupled with his violent urges and the scene in which a man from a prior, botched driving job approaches him, we get the impression (or at least I did) that this guy can’t really fit in with others or lead a normal life. So he’d rather do what he’s good at and what he’s comfortable with; driving. Assuming that he dies at the end, which I think he does, he dies doing something he loves, driving, knowing that Irene’s safe. I wanna say this is some sort of catharsis or redemption for him, but the movie doesn’t give me enough to go on there. I’d like to watch the film again.
Re: the spareness/style – it reminded me more of noir than comic books.
Re: opening credits scene – Refn stated he was inspired by the opening titles of Risky Business.
I’m wondering – do you guys think there’s much depth or substance here? Do you think it’s attempting to have any? After the film, my friend brought up Taxi Driver and in response I said something like “yeah, I can see vague similarities in the isolated protagonists, but obviously Taxi Driver’s a much better film,” (it’s one of my favorites) and my friend responded as if she was surprised I’d say this. As if Drive had a lot of depth, which don’t think it did. But I’m really curious some other opinions/thoughts.
Sorry if this was rambly/if I rehashed things that were already said.
ladytron is all the rage and sounds just like new order to me. and i see someone did mention taxi driver on the previous page! i knew it couldn’t be just me
“i read he says he’s making a women’s picture next.”
Are you referring to Wonder Woman? I would love to see that but I don’t think that will seriously ever happen (no matter how well his Logan’s Run remake does).
oh it was an interview with carey mulligan. she said refn told her his next film will have a female central character and she will star. don’t know if it’s serious or a joke
To bring in Ladytron (one of the worst acts to come out of Electroclash, sorry!) it’s also worth a link to this.
There were some great acts associated with this short-lived genre. Chicks on Speed, Whatever It Takes, Le Tigre, Tracy + The Plastics, and also there’s groups like Adult. (who sound just like Kas Product from the 80s) and Miss Kitten who does some retro-styled music as well.
he’s as much a hero as travis bickle at the end of taxi driver lol. i don’t see a lot of depth here either but i never get that from refn. it’s a nice exercise in LA noir style and i liked gosling’s performance but i generally do. also i think he’s a psychopath :)
k i think i’m prolly not ‘manly’ enough to comment on this film anymore ;)
lol. I think I did hear that Mulligan wants to work with Refn again. I know he’s got four or five movies in the pipeline, several of them with Gosling already attached (Only God Forgives, Logan’s Run, etc.). And Refn stated that if Logan’s Run does well, he hopes to get the opportunity to make Wonder Woman with Christina Hendricks (although if he has that wicked Danish humor that von Trier is plagued with, this might be a sick joke – hahaha).
Between Refn and Cianfrance, Ryan Gosling should be busy for a while.