This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

DID YOU READ

“Drive,” reviewed

“Drive,” reviewed (photo)

Posted by on

You can compare “Drive” to a lot of other movies. In my interview with its director, Nicolas Winding Refn, he referenced Grimms’ fairy tales. I’ve read star Ryan Gosling refer to it as a violent John Hughes movie. Others have liken it to the poetic yet masculine works of Walter Hill and Michael Mann. All of these comparisons are apt, but what’s great about “Drive” is the way it bears so many obvious inspirations without really feeling like any of them. It is its own unique blend of classical tropes and modern filmmaking.

Gosling stars as a man known only as Driver. He’s not much of a talker but he’s a hell of a wheelman. “You put this kid behind the wheel,” his boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston) says “and there’s nothing he can’t do.” By day, Driver works for Shannon as a mechanic and occasional stuntman for Hollywood movies. By night, he works as a wheelman for robberies. His spartan, uncomplicated lifestyle is complicated — as the spartan, uncomplicated lifestyles of lonely, brooding action heroes always are — by the introduction of a woman. That would be Driver’s neighbor Irene, played by Carey Mulligan. The two strike up a tentative, flirtatious friendship. Driver clearly has feelings for Irene and for her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos). But any possibility of romance is shattered by the return of someone from Irene’s past, and by Driver’s increasingly complicated relationship with Shannon’s shady business associates, Nino (Ron Perlman) and Bernie (Albert Brooks).

The plot of “Drive” is as familiar as the films that helped inspired its style and tone. But the execution by Refn, Gosling, and screenwriter Hossein Amini feels fresh. The Driver character himself is particularly intriguing. Introduced as the strong, silent type, he’s soon revealed as a gentle soul with a sweet smile. Later, after his relationships with Irene and Shannon begin to crumble yet another side emerges, one that’s prone to bouts of disturbing violence. It is to Gosling’s credit that he’s convincing in every second, and that he makes all these disparate elements feel like the twisted facets of one believable human being. Driver feels complete, if completely nuts.

The action sequences are fairly nuts, too. As he proved in previous movies like “Bronson” and “Valhalla Rising,” Refn is not one to shy away from the more graphic aspects of onscreen violence. Likewise, “Drive” is not for the faint of heart, and I suspect some audiences drawn in by the promise of car chases and romance between Gosling and Mulligan will be shocked and put-off by the amount of blood depicted onscreen. The film’s structure mimics a car repeatedly going from zero to 60 and back to zero again: scenes begin quietly, explode with gunfire, then return to silence. Refn rejects the shaky, hand-held style most popular in contemporary American action pictures for crisp, precise camerawork and editing. When Driver gets into a scrape the film slows down, aping the perspective of a man who remains clear-headed even in the midst of a high-speed chase. When he loses control and his violent urges take over, the film speed ramps back up. “Drive” doesn’t get inside this man’s head much, but it does an impressive job of getting inside his perspective.

With an electronic pop score out of the 1980s, strong chemistry between Gosling and Mulligan, and a bleak but inevitable finale, “Drive” is one moody action film. Or maybe it’s really a romantic drama that’s punctuated by moments of intense, bloody action. Or it’s an underworld morality tale. A fable. Maybe even a very dark comedy. It’s easy to compare “Drive” to other movies, and a lot harder to describe.

“Drive” is now playing. If you see it, we want to know what you think. Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch More
Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

Watch More
IFC_Portlandia-AORewind-blog

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

Watch More
SistersWeekend_103_MPX-1920×1080

WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

IFC_Comedy-Crib_Sisters-Weekend-Series-Image

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

SistersWeekend_101_MPX-1920x1080

IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

IFC_Comedy-Crib_Sisters-Weekend_About-Image

IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

SistersWeekend_102_MPX-1920x1080

IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

Watch More