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Monday, November 3, 2014

November Film Club

Well, what do you know?  It's November already.  A huge, giant, thank you to everybody who came out to Horror Fest last week, it was a complete blast and I can't wait for next year!

On to business.  For the month of November, I generally try to find a film that has some connection to Thanksgiving, but I decided to forego that because there really aren't A LOT of good films that take place during Thanksgiving.  Instead, I decided to screen one of my favorite films of recent years. This month, (Thursday, November 20th at 6:15pm) we will be watching Nicholas Winding Refn's, Drive.  A film that is as beautiful as it is haunting.

Drive is a 2011 American neo-noir arthouse crime thriller directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, and Albert Brooks.  It is adapted from the 2005 James Sallis novel of the same name, with a screenplay by Hossein Amini.

Like the book, the film is about an unnamed Hollywood stunt performer (played by Gosling) who moonlights as a getaway driver.  Prior to its September 2011 release, it had been shown at a number of film festivals.  At the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, Drive was praised and received a standing ovation.  Winding Refn won the festival's Best Director Award for the film.  Reviews from critics have been positive, with many drawing comparisons to work from previous eras.

The film currently holds a 93% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 235 critical reviews.

Roger Ebert awarded the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars saying this of the film, "As played by Ryan Gosling, he is in the tradition of two iconic heroes of the 1960s: Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name and Alain Delon in Le Samourai.  He has no family, no history and seemingly few emotions.  Whatever happened to him drove any personality deep beneath the surface.  He is an existential hero, I suppose, defined entirely by his behavior.  That would qualify him as the hero of a mindless action picture, all CGI and crashes and mayhem.  Drive is more of an elegant exercise in style, and its emotions may be hidden but they run deep.  Sometimes a movie will make a greater impact by not trying too hard.  The enigma of the driver is surrounded by a rich gallery of supporting actors who are clear about their hopes and fears, and who have either reached an accommodation with the driver, or not.  Here is still another illustration of the old Hollywood noir principle that a movie lives its life not through its hero, but within its shadows."

I love Nicolas Winding Refn as a director and I love this film especially.  You will not want to miss this film.  Hope to see you there!

Here's the trailer:

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