Friday, November 04, 2011


Drive / Drive [could be called Kylmä kyyti in Finnish]. US © 2011 Drive Film Holdings, LLC. P: Michel Litvak, John Palermo, Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker, Adam Siegel. D: Nicolas Winding Refn. SC: Hossein Amini - based on the novel (2005) by James Sallis (translated into Finnish in 2009 as Kylmä kyyti by Mika Tiirinen / Arktinen Banaani). DP: Newton Thomas Sigel. PD: Beth Mickle. AD: Christopher Tandon. Set dec: Lisa K. Sessions. Cost: Erin Benach. Makeup: Gerald Quist. Special FX: James Lorimer. Visual FX: Jerry Spivack, Dottie Starling. M: Cliff Martinez. S: Victor Ray Ennis. ED: Matthew Newman. Casting: Mindy Marin. Loc: Los Angeles. Cast: Ryan Gosling (Driver), Carey Mulligan (Irene), Bryan Cranston (Shannon), Albert Brooks (Bernie Rose), Oscar Isaac (Standard), Christina Hendricks (Blanche), Ron Perlman (Nino), Russ Tamblyn (Doc). 100 min. Released in Finland by FS Film with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Iira Mukka / Carina Laurila. 2K DCP viewed at Kinopalatsi 10, Helsinki, 4 Nov 2011.

Technical specs from IMDb: Camera: Arri Alexa, Cooke S4, Zeiss Master Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Iconix HD-RH1, Weisscam HS-2. - Laboratory: Company 3, New York (NY), USA (digital intermediate), FotoKem Laboratory, Burbank (CA), USA (dailies). - Original format: ProRes 4:4:4 HD. - Cinematographic process: Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), ProRes 4:4:4 (1080p/24) (source format). - Printed film format: 35 mm (anamorphic), D-Cinema. - Aspect ratio: 2.35:1.

IMDb synopsis: "A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong."

Drive had its Finnish premiere a month ago, but I had not been hurrying to see it although the buzz has been good. People I respect consider it as the best / one of the best films of the year. But reading the reviews, I had the feeling I have seen enough films of this kind already, Michael Mann being one of the current masters.

Certainly Drive is original. The film-makers are clearly aware of tradition, but there is no imitation or pastiche in Drive. Genre situations such as the hold-up, the double-cross, the chase, and the loner's revenge are all reinvented by the writers and the film-makers.

The most striking revision concerns the loner's character. Departing from most of the tradition, he is depicted starting a serious relationship with a woman with a child. The father is in prison and meets a brutal end although the driver tries to help the family.

Drive is a fairy-tale. The gangland is stylized but unglamorous. The ugliness of the violence reflects an ugliness of mentality.

Drive has a sense of tragedy. There is a dimension of dignity in the driver, but he has already been caught too tightly in the web of crime. The best he can do is save the woman and the child.

It is a top job from everybody: presumably James Sallis who wrote the novel, Hossein Amini the screenwriter, Nicolas Winding Refn in his Hollywood debut, the star Ryan Gosling who hired the director, and Carey Mulligan who creates a counterworld to the criminal milieu without glamour but with a great deal of original charm.

The 2K digital cinematography looks good in the urban world of streets, cars, buildings, clothes, and faces.

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