Nicolas Winding Refn
The 3rd i's International South Asian Film Festival, featuring shorts, documentaries and dramatic features from countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tibet and England, runs through the weekend at the Roxie, with a special Saturday engagement at the Castro Theatre highlighting Lester James Peries' acclaimed 1964 family drama Gamperaliya and Abhinay Deo's new, Hangover-inspired Bollywood farce Delhi Belly. Elsewhere:
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week
In Drive, the hypnotic new thriller from Bronson and Valhalla Rising director Nicolas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling remains preternaturally calm even as he stomps a mobster’s flunky to a bloody pulp. Rarely does his voice rise above a whisper, much less betray any emotion. He is the essence of cool, breaking a sweat only when his passions boil over in short, shocking outbursts. We all go a little mad sometimes.
When we’re young, we are told to stand up to bullies, to defend ourselves against those who prey on the supposedly weak. They are the real cowards, we are told, and once exposed, their true colors will be revealed.
The British criminal Charles Bronson, the subject of director Nicolas Winding Refn’s strangely fascinating but somewhat impenetrable new character study, isn’t a bully in the conventional sense. He doesn’t taunt his victims; he simply pulverizes them, sometimes with warning, sometimes without. He is remorseless, but hardly emotionless – a study in unadulterated rage, and not a man to provoke or engage.