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Why Drive will be the movie that is remembered in years to come


Film Noir is a genre of “life in the shadows” movies that became popular in America during
the uncertain times of World War II.  Westerns have remained a shorthand for the American
psyche with their sullen outsiders with a personal code of honor bucking the system.  
Samurai films mirror the lone avenger protagonist, but set against a longing for a lost
society of incorruptible values. Now and again a notable contemporary noir or western or
samurai film emerges with little fanfare amidst all the commercial cacophony of the louder,
bolder, more spectacular action films that rule today’s box office.  One such gem of film
blending all three genres flashed out of the shadows briefly in 2011.  It’s called “Drive”
and I think it is the greatest artistic achievement of the past year.







Sometimes the poster art for a movie tells it all


The artworks for the two or three “Drive” posters show the eyes of a man looking in the rearview
mirror or a young man’s back clothed in a flashy motorcycle jacket emblazoned with a scorpion
design. Got it. I looked forward to a cool stunts-filled chase movie. What I got was something
far more.  Because sometimes the movie’ poster is more than a tease – sometimes the poster indicates
a portal to be passed through – in this case into the darkness and pain that drives one man’s bleak
existence, and into the deep recesses of memory and loss and flickering hope that serve as the “drive”
to all our lives.  The word drive on the poster had a different definition than the one you presumed
as you walked into the theatre. “Drive” captures the desire to find life worth living in even the
direst circumstances like no other recent film I can quickly bring to mind.



Drive Poster: Albert Brooks by LCDModestyMSCE Day 121 - Drive Poster by billpyleDrive Poster Variant by RustyCharles







While “Drive” might be likened to recent paeans to nihilistic violence as a response to our
stagnating, stupefying times – films such as “American Psycho” and “Fight Club” – it has a real
core humanity and heart missing from those stylishly cynical films.  Where those films seek to
shock, “Drive” and the Driver himself simply seeks to survive, to find a way out, to live. There
is the already “instant classic” “scene in the elevator” that perfectly arcs from the fatalistic
melancholy of a doomed romantic love to the most brutal violence so brilliantly fitting that you
will never get it out of your head. It is the pivot encapsulating the soul of the film that is
both so beautiful and yet so horrible that it blows away any single scene of any other movie shot
recently.  Talk about your “zero to sixty in under four seconds”...



The Driver by ~Bilou020285





“The Driver” has no name in the film...

Being perhaps emblematic of a force of nature just trying to
keep pushing forward.  The character, played with effective understatement by Ryan Gosling, evokes
the silent hero who does not volunteer; his valor is in “sticking” despite danger, or in returning
to protect innocents or comrades in harm’s way – very much like Clint Eastwood’s “Man with No Name”
in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns or Han Solo in “Star Wars”.  There is a moral code underneath
all of that pain driven by a reverence in protection of the innocent rather than the usual imperative
of self interest.












Director Nicolas Refn frames the scenes of the story in a detached “observational” manner that makes them even
more starkly effective than any standard gritty “shaky-cam” treatment might achieve.  His forensic POV calls
to mind such Stanley Kubrick classics as “The Killing” and “A Clockwork Orange”. The ability to adapt stories
from exceptional original source material, like James Sallis’s novella, is an art seemingly becoming lost with
so many of today's high-power directors shooting their own original screenplays. It as much a talent to be able to
“illuminate” an already great work of art to produce an equally or possibly even greater work of art as it is
to be an auteur of a singular vision.  I hope Refn goes on to be our next Kubrick and decides to frame the
greatest novels of our time.  Judging by this, he has a real shot.













The other unexpectedly magical ingredient running through this is film is the Bernie Rose character played by
Albert Brooks.  He is brilliantly portrayed as a monster who’s self awareness of the banality of his day to day
necessary cruelties has long since numbed him to taking any pleasure in being a gangster.  He expresses not so much
as even a glimmer of self-satisfaction in the expert efficiency with which he eliminates human obstacles.   The
scene in which he suddenly slices open the arm of a long time associate, then immediately, gently reassures his
victim that the worst is over and there would be no more pain in his imminent death aptly illustrates the boredom
of a killer long overdue for retirement.



Actor Gosling, screenwriter Hossein Amini and director Refn have managed to inject passion into a brilliant yet purposely
airless novella in such a way as to create a film burning from end to end with a compressed fire to light the darkest noir.  
It is remarkable on every level. It will be initially lost amidst the crush of “bigger” entries.  It is also destined to be one
of those movies that is “rediscovered” again and again, generation after generation, for years to come.




Talking about you, boy by SammywolfA Hero by Cre8tiveComplexDrive by amaraa41













deviantART Film Community —

Invitation to a conversation for 2012


This article is also a call to the Film community here on dA to ask for your thoughts, input, and opinions on what types
of subject matter and articles you would like to see me focus on this year.  I am going to begin with a feature dedicated
to Movie poster artists here on dA as a first step but I would love to hear feedback on where to take it from there.  Are
there any deviants in the Film community that you feel I must interview as soon as possible?






Questions for the Reader:

  1. Which do you think is more important: the technical action sequences and general art design of a film? the quality of the writing, direction and acting? or the vision of “human truth” interwoven with the plot and action?
  2. Do you like it when “action films” turn out to have a powerful dramatic “message” as well?  Or do you think this is an unnecessary distraction from what should be sheer “meaningless” entertainment?
  3. What are the “action” films you watched just to have some fun – but were unexpectedly greatly moved by, emotionally or intellectually?
  4. What were your favorite films of 2011?








Add a Comment:
 
:icondigital--angel:
Digital--Angel Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I'm not sure I'd say "must see" per say, but it was a movie I enjoyed, although I'm a bit biased towards Depp. Limitless was one of my favorite movies of the year, partially because all the while I was so expecting an "anti-drug" message at the end, but it never happened.
Reply
:iconspacemanfront:
SpacemanFront Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Student General Artist
I loved Drive. It was hands down one of the best films of 2011. The soundtrack was great and to top it all off, the budget for the film was very low. Blew me away!
Reply
:icondarubio:
darubio Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012  Professional Filmographer
watching this film for the 3rd time
Reply
:icongnbman:
gnbman Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012  Student
The only one I know of is the Ghost Rider sequel. I actually like the original, so I'm looking forward to the new one.
Reply
:iconrapidograph:
rapidograph Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012  Professional Filmographer
... amen!
Reply
:iconkh-productions:
kh-productions Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Student Interface Designer
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconbeautifulyuki:
beautifulyuki Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012
No problem! Let me know if anything sparks from your email to them.

I don't even think the Jason Statham films are related - nonetheless, I still love the guy. :)

Will do, indeed!
Reply
:iconnerroo:
NeRrOo Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Awesome.
Reply
:iconjean--franco:
Jean--Franco Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I saw the movie because of this article and I must say the movie It's a complete shit. The story it's really stupid, the stereotypes are disturbing and the soundtrack is nothing more than a "Neon Indian" indie band doing his stuff. To reach those concepts that you talk in the article it's Taxi Driver... But this... this... attempt of deep-gore-action-romantic-shit is nothing more than a bad idea well filmed... nothing more...

Thank you for making me lose two hours of my life...

About the questions:

1) the quality of the writing, direction and acting
2) I like it when “action films” turn out to have a powerful dramatic “message” as well. I think to reach that point it's a real challenge to the director.
3) Movies of Tekshi Kitano
Reply
:icondesignerkimo:
Designerkimo Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012
what's that!!![link]
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
Reply
:iconnachuuu:
nachuuu Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
the soundtrack is awesome
Reply
:iconcityofthesouth:
cityofthesouth Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
I think it will be ... I have hopes anyway. Batman, 007 (I think 2012) plus I've already seen Contraband and Haywire and I liked them both pretty well. Not perfect, not amazing, but I still liked them.
Reply
:iconmarcusfenixdown:
MarcusFenixDown Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Very cool movie
Reply
:iconswiftlegend:
SwiftLegend Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Student Filmographer
The assessment of the film is spot on. I am a car guy and have a sense of honor few do anymore and this film is my top 5 of all time for me. An instant classic with an amazing soundtrack so fitting.
Reply
:iconcowgirlzenphoto:
CowGirlZenPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional Photographer
no meaning your work is original.
Reply
:iconimmages:
IMMages Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
Thank you!
Reply
:iconimmages:
IMMages Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
Pretty amazing, right?!
Reply
:iconsakikawasaki:
sakikawasaki Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
:)
Reply
:iconmarvelousharvey:
MarvelousHarvey Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
No problem. That's what discussions are for, right?
Reply
:iconshade-of-wolf:
shade-of-wolf Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome! :heart:
I had only seen those films last year though for the first time :).
I didn't think anyone read those comments! Lol, there I'm proved wrong. :D
Reply
:icontarantulaldamn:
TarantulaLdAmn Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:)
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
I totally should :B I've only been trying to save money and going to the cinema doesn't help with that :lol: Cos seriously, a movie without a huge cup of coke and popcorn just ain't right ;)

I shall borrow it :la:
Reply
:iconmidnightmagnificent:
MidNightMagnificent Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
True comments from the :heart: are always a joy to read, no?

Thank you for writing such an interesting and enjoyable article. :D
Reply
:iconsketchman147:
Sketchman147 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
You're welcome. Glad I could help with the idea. :)
Reply
:iconrobdolbs:
robdolbs Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
they've got lots of good ones on ebay, that's the only place i could really find one :D

thank you very much! and thanks for the :+devwatch: as well :love:
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
:)
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
District 9 was incredible. Thank you for commenting
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Interesting point that you both bring up about effects being "too good" or too much the primary focus. There is something to be said about more intimate and personal connections an audience might feel with the use of practical effects. This is a wonderful topic on it's own.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Get to the Cinema! :) And of course would love to hear your thoughts after you get a chance to see Drive.
Reply
:iconrisingwolve:
RisingWolve Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome, and thanks! :)
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Agreed.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
I agree, it all starts with the writing.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Thank you for the comment. Congratulations on the feature with Writers Ink. Keep up the great work.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Oh please. Don't make me THINK during summer blockbuster season beyond ESSENTIAL questions like "How much popcorn can I fit into my mouth and still not choke?"

Classic. My favorite comment of this thread. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Shmizznet FTW.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Yes, I do.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
I read every single comment to every article that I publish here on dA. All of them. :)
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
I wil have to take a look at Alien:Resurrection again. And I am ashamed to say I have not seen Battle Royale yet. Thank you for your comment.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Haha, I will fight for some Armageddon.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
I also enjoyed Hugo
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
So glad you enjoyed the article. I must screen Hanna sometime soon. So many people have told me not to miss it.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
It all starts with the Writer.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Agreed. :)
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with everyone here. I agree with many of your points but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed Avatar.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Can you believe he was overlooked for the Academy Award?
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
You would say "Rum Diaries" is a must see? I am going to have to check out "Limitless".
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Your welcome, glad you enjoyed the article. Attack The Block, so much fun.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
The original? Do you mean the book it was based on?
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
I bought the soundtrack the moment I got home from seeing the film.
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Good job.
Reply
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January 4, 2012
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