Nicolas Winding Refn: ‘We’re Living in a Dystopian Reality TV Show’

Nicolas Winding Refn, the Danish director of films including “Drive” and “The Neon Demon” unloaded on the dystopian state of America in a blistering essay in the Guardian Wednesday.

“This is a frightening time to be alive,” Refn wrote. For the past six months, I’ve been shooting in America, and it seems increasingly clear we’re now living in a dystopian reality TV show.”

He offered the thought that difficult art could help make sense of difficult times, and introduced his new website ByNWR that will offer films he finds stimulating and provocative.

“America has always had a tendency towards the operatic but, fueled by the hand grenade of insanity that is Donald Trump, it’s reached new heights of hysteria,” the filmmaker continued.

Although he called Trump insane, he also seemed to take a David Lynch-esque view that through chaos comes meaningful change.

“It’s terrifying. It is also thrilling. We are appalled by what we witness unfolding each day – essentially, the destruction of the American way of life by its own administration – but we’re also inescapably gripped by it. This is a very exciting time in our history.”

“Out of earthquakes come opportunities,” Refn said. “We need to be pushed out of our comfort zones – of complacency, and, for most of us in the west, an easeful life.”

Refn has been shooting the Amazon crime series “Too Old to Die Young” in Los Angeles and Albuquerque.

 

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