Winding Refn Themes

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Nicolas Winding Refn- Part Three: Theme
What is the relationship form and content in the films Nicolas Winding Refn?

Nicolas Winding Refn is a Danish film director, producer and screenwriter. He makes effective choices that contribute to the enhancement of the films he creates. In the three films, “Valhalla Rising”, “Drive”, and “Only God Forgives”, we have studied the relationship among them are evidently shown through many different ways. Winding Refn uses cinematography to produce a composition that develops the context of the film. The use of interchanging of pacing is present in all three films exemplifies the dramatic effect of the scene in which it is utilized. Another element in which relates all three films is the characterisation. All three protagonists share similar traits, in which are carried out throughout their respective film. Ultimately, Nicolas Winding Refn’s choices in using distinct elements in order to create a relationship between his films create a sense of unity among them, despite being different in plot.
It Is evident from previous the previous films that we have studied in this curriculum that cinematography plays a significant role in contributing to the context of the film. Winding Refn uses similar elements in all three films that would unite them as one, despite having different plot lines. In all three films, a close up, left and right placement, profile shot is frequently used in displaying the main character. In the film, “Valhalla Rising”, Winding Refn’s repetitive use of such elements accompanied with sparse allows us understand the undistinguished sense of isolationism and emptiness. This would reflect upon the character of One Eye as he remains silent throughout the entirety of the film, also adding an unpredictability effect. In the film “Drive”, the similar element is used however the remainder of the frame would be occupied. In the particular scene, where the Driver shows the mother and the son a place. The profile shot is occupied, not only by the Driver, but also the mother and son as opposed to leaving an empty space. Their presence would suggest a change of mood and character in the Driver. Coming from an independent closed-minded man to becoming of a man worthy of openness, eventually leading to a new life. In the film “Only God Forgives”, the same element of profile shot is yet again frequently used. However, it is different in such a way that the frame is dense. It usually contains factors that would distract the audience from the focus, bringing disharmony to the frame. The disharmonious effect reflects upon Julian’s life as it is messy and all over the place. With his brother’s death and Chang out to get him, it has brought nothing but unrest to his life. The profile shots effectively displays this concept in Julian’s life. Ultimately, cinematography can be used in order to relate to the context of the film as Winding Refn does so in the three films.
Winding Refn makes the decisions to interchange the pacing of the scene, in consideration to the intend purpose of exemplification, all three films. This element is most frequently used during action scenes. The effective choice creates a defining factor towards the respective scene also intensifying the violence-taking place. In “Valhalla Rising”, though the entire movie seemed to be in slow-motion, slow-motion was effectively used for the purpose of enhancing the action. In the final scene, One Eye has accepted his fate and has surrendered to his death, leaving the young boy behind. This scene is in slow-motion creating a dramatic effect in the idea of heaven and hell. In the film “Dive”, Winding Refn shows that pacing creates a role in intensifying an action scene. In the motel scene where Driver and Blanche are disputed by Bernie’s men, interchanging of pace is used from slow-motion to fast-forward. Similarly, it is used to intensify the action, however focusing on the Driver’s abilities. By doing so, this releases traits