×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.”

Popular on Variety

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

 

More Film

  • Jesse Eisenberg

    Film News Roundup: Jesse Eisenberg to Star in Indie Thriller 'Wild Indian' (EXCLUSIVE)

    In today’s film news roundup, Jesse Eisenberg is starring and exec producing “Wild Indian”; Jason Bateman is directing “Shut In”; “Saturday Night Live” veteran Paula Pell is honored; and the Palm Springs Film Festival sets its opening and closing films. CASTING Jesse Eisenberg is starring in and executive producing the independent thriller “Wild Indian,” Variety [...]

  • disney d23

    Top 19 Media Trends of 2019: Disney's Box Office Dominance

    The domestic box office market share over the last 12 years provides a sobering reminder of how important franchises are to studio performance, especially for Disney. Although the 2019 box office looks to be falling short of the previous year’s total, Disney is ending the decade on the highest possible note, becoming the first studio ever [...]

  • Pierce Brosnan Cinderella

    Pierce Brosnan to Play the King in Camila Cabello's 'Cinderella'

    Pierce Brosnan will play the king opposite Camila Cabello in writer-director Kay Cannon’s new telling of “Cinderella” for Sony Pictures. Billy Porter, Idina Menzel and Nicholas Galitzine are also confirmed to star in the film, which will be released in theaters Feb. 5, 2021. Cabello, a multi-platinum selling and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, will be integrally involved [...]

  • John Boyega

    John Boyega: 'Star Wars' Fandom Conflict Is 'The Most Stupid Thing in the World'

    Unlike his “Star Wars” compatriots Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac, John Boyega enjoys a robust presence on social media, with nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter and over 1.6 million followers on Instagram. He regularly engages with fans, and posts inside looks at his life inside the “Star Wars” media maelstrom. It’s meant that Boyega [...]

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

    'Watchmen' Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Says He Would Consider Playing Superman

    Those who are caught up on “Watchmen” know Yahya Abdul-Mateen II knows how to strike the balance between understated and omnipotent. He’s also no stranger to playing superheroes, as Aquaman’s nemesis Black Manta in the DC Universe. But asked whether he would consider taking on another DC Extended Universe role — Superman — Abdul-Mateen told [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    'Once Upon a Time,' 'Farewell,' 'Judy' Excluded From Writers Guild Awards

    The scripts for Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” and Tom Edge’s “Judy” have been excluded from the Writers Guild of America Awards. Unlike other guilds, the WGA excludes as candidates any screenplays not produced under its jurisdiction or that of another guild. That’s because the WGA has the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content