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Nicolas Winding Refn Explores Youth and Unattainable Beauty in 'The Neon Demon'

We meet the Danish director before the release of his new dark drama 'The Neon Demon' in his hometown of Copenhagen to discuss the intersection between Hollywood and European cinema.
June 24, 2016, 1:35pm

In this episode of VICE Talks Film, host Hannah Ewens meets provocative Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn in his hometown of Copenhagen to discuss how he's progressed from making gritty, documentary-style films to beautiful, stylized dramas starring big Hollywood names like Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan.

His new film, The Neon Demon, a female-driven horror film starring Elle Fanning, is a move sideways from his previous work, which often centered around male brutality. Returning to LA, where he made his lauded feature Drive, Refn sought to explore the darker side of the fashion industry and its bloodthirsty desire for youth.

Here, the self-proclaimed "pornographer of cinema" looks back over his 20-year career of shocking audiences and dividing opinion, of bankruptcy and financial success, and how he's built a reputation that now reaches far beyond the Danish underground from which he began.