Too Old To Die Young by Nicolas Winding Refn | Review


Published on Jun 15, 2019


The cinema of Nicolas Winding Refn has always had one goal, which was visible right from the beginning with Pusher, but that is gone to appear more and more from Valhalla Rising, to become a real mission: take a genre of reference – and then the b-series of the cinema, that has always fascinated – and decostruirlo from top to bottom, empty of its body, its particular shape, sviscerandolo of each tinsel is not necessary, of each and every detail futile, taking the essence to be able to do what most interests him.

He did it with the prison movie (Bronson), he did it with the fantasy (Valhalla Rising), he did it with the caper movie (Drive), with a gangster (eastern) (Only God Forgives), and with the dark tale/horror The Neon Demon); and now that comes on television, paradoxically, the platform of the audiovisual entertainment more accessible, and that there is (he who is accessible just do not want to be), since it is an Author with A capital A, and never makes the same thing twice (unlike many fake authors with a lowercase always have the same type of thing for the same type of audience, both at the cinema and on television, exceeding in terms of business even Disney) takes advantage of the mini-series Too Old To Die Young not only to make a summa of his entire career to date, but of course also to get in touch not one but two different genres (the western and the ghost movie – yes, you read that right) arriving at a certain point, in the field of fantasy metaphysical (and more do not say).

In its thirteen hours of storytelling (ten episodes, yes, but apart from a distant epilogue of thirty minutes, the most of the bets exceeds the hour and a half, so much so that Amazon has opted for the word “volume” instead of “episode”) Too Old To Die Young moves between Jung and the tarot, between the prophetic and the visionary, between the post-apocalyptic and pre-apocalyptic, taking the worst (in the sense of “most dangerous”) in the filmography of its Author (Only God Forgives, the most hated, the most difficult, the most inaccessible, the most beautiful of all) and estremizzandolo even more, bedsides by like a snake, stretching it almost as if trying to find out where it can get before reaching the breaking point (of its history-toy of the audience, i.e. who the story is looking at it). It was legitimate to do the same process with their best-known work, beloved, and pop (Drive), but it would have been too easy.

In practice, the mini-series Amazon Prime is at the same time a caress and a spit in the face (we will see several, of the spit) to the service concept of on-demand streaming and binge-watching is a film art-house, thirteen hours available all at once, not week by week, and visible only on tv and in the comfort in your own living room, but will do everything to scomodarvi and discourage you and lead you to stop the vision, not only through the famous rhythms of contemplative and obnubilanti of his storytelling and obsessive-compulsive), but also, and above all, the images shocking and extreme.

The story then is just a pretext to play with genre and (like Michael Mann but obviously its own terms) Refn, the squeezes to get to a certain point, to reflect on the greatest systems, imagining with do oracolistico-shamanic a kind of world neo-manichean fact of an Absolute Evil is Capable Of Good or the Supreme Good, that Voted for the Evil.

Absolutist and inflexible, Too Old To Die Young is a line of demarcation engraved in the flesh of the world of television with a machete, that separates those who have the courage to cross it from those who did not: Game of Thrones with the episode The Long Night has published a manifesto with which television has made it known to all to be ready to be projected in cinemas, reaching that greatness from the hollywood blockbuster unthinkable before; Refn seems to want to continue the same argument, reversing, adding that because of the overcrowding of the blockbuster in the cinema, the stuff that appeals to him, these types of extremism artistic without compromise, nowadays is possible to find space only on the small screen, where the Author will find the absolute freedom that seeks.

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