Director Profile: Nicolas Winding Refn

Nicolas Winding Refn

Many unique directors will have a penchant for telling a variety of stories, where some will have interests in more specific themes and stories. Nicolas Winding Refn, the polarising Danish director falls into the latter.

Hailing from Denmark, Refn’s parents were also filmmakers, being the director and editor Anders Refn, and cinematographer Vibeke Winding. After being brought up on French New Wave cinema, it was, in fact, the horror genre that ignited the spark for filmmaking.

Nicolas Winding Refn’s Signature

Themes and Genre

Refn’s work is somewhat split into two halves. His first series of films explore underground crime networks, murders and drug dealings, often within his native Denmark. The latter half of his filmography explores a deeper understanding of the human psyche and more experimental ideas than demonstrated in his earlier work, while still having its foot in the door of the crime-drama.

He has never shied away from discussing his influences that are drawn from a wide range of films. Controversial film Cannibal Holocaust led Refn to realise something that is very evident in later films:



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