NICOLAS WINDING REFN
2009 - Denmark/UK
Then follows what may be, the gut-wrenching and bleak early passages aside, the film’s most successful sequence. The boat journey combines the elements of odyssey, otherworldiness, silence, naturalism and formal experimentation with pace, plotting and location that Refn otherwise struggles for elsewhere. Others may find this sequence interminable, for it is here that Refn goes from brooding, slow-paced doom with spasms of violence to a more dissonant sense of plot and increasingly abstract meaning. The claustrophobia of the boat is tangible, seemingly stranded in fog and undergoing a passage into another world as surely as the Bowman going through the light-show of “2001”.