With the birth of a new year, we also see the emergence of a fantastic new season of films at the No 6 Cinema, Portsmouth!
And what a wonderful season it is! The full programme for the January/February season can be found here, with information on each film available via the link.
2013 was an extremely successful year for the art-house cinema, with sold-out screenings on several occasions. The cinema, run by film-loving volunteers, is complete with the biggest screen in and around Portsmouth. With a delightfully atmospheric bar, you can get a glass of wine, beer, soft or hot drink and snacks whilst discussing the film with other cinephiles and film-lovers. The entrance to the cinema is fully decorated with stunning film poster paper chains, origami flowers made from old film posters, posters….
Drive is only at all interesting if seen from an ironic post modern angle and for me it doesnt work here either, unless it is being cleverer than I think. Obviously the idea (and the thing most reviewers seem to talk about) is the European art film crossed with an ultra crass pulp hollywood film. Its very knowing, at one point there is even a joke along the lines of “I used to make european art house films…they were shit..and now (in this case) I am a gangster” but in Refns case he made quite good films when he was European and now he makes ‘shit’ ? hollywood films that are not really very stylish and nor do they have anything much going for them in the proper Hollywood tradition of star driven, plot driven, entertaining, tightly written stories.
If you have watched much world cinema you will be very dissapointed by the supposed stylishness of this film. Wong Kar Wai’s Fallen Angels make Ryan Gosling look like someone in a saturday morning tv movie, Melville, Suzuki, Mike Hodges with Get Carter…. I could go on and on.. The point is we have seen this character and this idea a million times before and as I walked out of the cinema I was thinking to myself 'How can a film critic who has seen 'Branded to Kill, seen Le Samurai, seen Get Carter, have the front to take this film seriously and to do it in print. It does nothing new and it does the old stuff worse than all the good guys we already know about…. But then I realised. No he does do something new, he sells out too. You have the hard bitten driver, the man with no name, the man who is one fucking great big movie geek in joke reference piled upon reference, but you also have a cheesy sentimental love story, the driver sits and plays sweetly with a child, he smiles and by the way he smiles again and again and again, in a sweet cheesy lovable way. A sort of 'you know I would make a good dad’ way. And this is what Refn gives us that is new, he gives us a badly acted unbelievable, but full throttle sentimental love story in the middle of his semi hardboiled, semi stylish neo noire thriller. So this is the point I have to stand back and say its over to you. I left the cinema with the same feeling I get walking out of a gallery where I have just been looking at a copy of OK magazine smeared with lard tied to a barbie doll. I know its bad in all the ways I am capable of mustering up to judge whether a piece of art is bad but just maybe there are a lot of new ways, things I am not clever enough to understand, and maybe in these ways it is brilliant.. I give you Drive.
Serene, observant and almost silent all the way through. Interesting arthouse film, but it really isn’t for everyone. Give the first 5 or 10 minutes a shot and see if you like it. If you do, you’re in for a treat. Even though the characters are stoic in manner and rarely speak, their own personal stories become interwoven unbeknownst to them.