Nicolas Winding Refn’s cinematic progression is something to be marveled at. With his latest film, THE NEON DEMON, he pushes every boundary imaginable, creating a film with so much impending doom that it will make the most unflappable cinephile become seemingly uncomfortable as his tale of vanity and debauchery comes to a brilliant conclusion.
Refn has reached the top tier brotherhood of self indulgent filmmakers featuring Lars von Trier, Terrence Malick, and Bob Fosse. Making his own films, without having to concede anything to anyone, allowing his own unique kaleidoscope of artistic vision to wash over the screen.
This film is fantastic, and it is Refn’s best film to date. His unbound storytelling is wrapped tautly by Natasha Brier’s fluid cinematography, a perfect ensemble, and one of the best film scores of all time composed by Cliff Martinez.
Refn’s cinematic world is dark and dangerous, vicious and surreal. He monumentally cashed in on DRIVE, allowing himself the freedom to make the films that he wants to make, pushing the boundaries of cinema to new heights. With THE NEON DEMON he forgoes star power and box office anchors, and makes a film so twisted it becomes incredibly serene in a way that would make Stanley Kubrick proud.
Every single actor and crew member deserves all the accolades in the world for their accomplishments on this film. One could spend an entire essay talking about each actor in this film.
Elle Fanning. Wow. She absolutely commands every frame of this film. Keanu Reeves completely shakes his on screen persona in a scummy and sleazy hard supporting role that will leave you wanting more. Desmond Harrington FINALLY got his role. He is silent, gaunt, and cathartic in his few scenes; showing off his previously untapped potential.
Refn’s latter day films are not for the People. They aren’t made for the average Friday night moviegoer, they aren’t made for art house cinephiles. They are made because he has his own story to tell.
In an age where great cinematic story’s are told in a novelization over the medium of television; I don’t know how this film got made, or how it got a wide cinematic release – but we should all celebrate the fact that it did.