The Danish filmmaker came several times to Cannes. This Friday, May 17, he is back for two episodes of "Too old to die young", a series available soon on Amazon Prime.
Nicolas Winding Refn has been cultivating for years a cinema where the border in horror and beauty is thin. This is again the case for Too Old to die young, A serie realized for Amazon Studios and presented this Friday May 17 in Cannes. On the Croisette, the Dane is no longer an unknown: staging prize for Drive in 2011, and recently returned to official selection with Only God Forgives (2013) and The Neon Demon (2016). Works that have always reacted and his new project also looks like a much awaited surprise.
Quite unusual, the series of Nicolas Winding Refn will not be presented in order. Indeed, it is episodes 4 and 5 (entitled North of Hollywood and West of hell) which will be screened in Cannes. Why this amazing choice? Neither the director nor the Amazon production teams explained this choice. Will it prevent festival-goers from understanding the issues of the series? Mystery…
On the other hand, some technical points are already known.Too Old to die young includes 10 episodes of 90 minutes, 16 hours in total. The story plunges us into a very dark Los Angeles. A policeman searches for the man who murdered his partner. Around him, hitmen, yakuza, Mexican cartels, the Russian mafia and gangs of murderous teenagers.
In casting, Nicolas Winding Refn surrounded Miles Teller (Whiplash, Divergent), Jena Malone (Nocturnal Animals) and John Hawkes (Three Billboards). The music includes composer Cliff Martinez, a former member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who has already worked on the music of the Danish director's last three films. Too Old to Die Young will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime on June 14th.
This is not the first time that a series has the right to a diffusion in the selection Cannes. In 2017, the second season of Top of the Lake of Jane Campion and the first two episodes of season 3 of Twin Peaks David Lynch had already had this honor.
Let's be honest, Refn's cinema can be uneven and not everyone's cup of tea. However, fans of the director will be delighted to find a black film atmosphere, with a very neonized aesthetic, as what he could propose in Drive and Only God Forgives.
As often in the works of the Danish director, Too Old to Die Young will be a violent story, centered on characters with dubious morality, making this universe both hateful and fascinating. The sound atmosphere will surely play a great part in the quality of the film, knowing that NWR is very much concerned with this aspect (the introduction scene of Drive).
If the scenario seems pretty basic (an umpteenth revenge cop), it could be surprising given the freedom of creation offered by Amazon Studios to the Dane. She will require a little patience on the part of the public, because the plot can take a long time to settle during these 16 hours.
Regulars should not be disappointed with the discovery of this new universe. In The Hollywood Reporter, co-writer of the series, Ed Brubaker, describes Too Old To Die Young as "the most crazy Nicolas Winding Refn project that ever existedAnd for those who want to discover the Danish filmmaker, immerse yourself in his filmography … Or take a look at the documentary made on his shootings by his wife, Liv Corfixen.
Nicolas Winding Refn filmography:
2003: Inside Job (Fear X)
2004 : Pusher 2, blood on the hands
2005: Pusher 3, The Angel of Death
2008: Miss Marple – Nemesis (TV movie)
2010: The Silent Warrior (Valhalla Rising)
2011: Drive → Prize for the staging of the 64th Cannes Film Festival
2013: Only God Forgives → Competition – Official Selection
2016: The Neon Demon → Competition – Official Selection
2019: Too Old to Die Young (television series)