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New doc ‘NWR’ gets inside the head of enigmatic ‘Drive’ director Nicolas Winding Refn

Will Perkins
Wide Screen
June 25, 2012

If the stories about him are to be believed, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn is kind of an odd guy.

Between anecdotes involving REOSpeedwagon-induced crying and debates about whether his main characters are werewolves, a picture of a strange filmmaker begins to emerge. Combine that with the shocking and oft ultra-violent content of his movies, and you might begin to believe that the soft-spoken Refn is a slightly off-kilter individual.

See more: Why is there a 'Spider-Man' reboot?

While he very well may be a bit of an eccentric, there's no denying that the ironically car-phobic "Drive" director is one of the most interesting and in-demand filmmakers working today.

Those who judge the "Pusher" director on the weird stories or his somewhat extreme filmography don't know the whole story though. And for those curious/brave enough, a new documentary from French filmmaker Laurent Duroche aims to show people the real Refn: a dedicated family man, committed artist, and, yeah, a bit of an oddball. Entitled "NWR," the film profiles the Copenhagen-native in the wake of "Drive's" success and features interviews with family, friends, and frequent collaborators - including Ryan Gosling (who stars in "Drive") and Mads Mikkelsen (the blood crying villain in "Casino Royale").

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Until earlier this morning, the entire one-hour documentary was available online. "NWR" has since been removed from various video sharing sites at the behest of its creator, but luckily there is still a trailer for the doc available online.

No word on if/when "NWR" will be available to watch online again, but it stands to reason that it might crop up on a "Special Edition" of one of Refn's movies down the road. In the meantime Refn remains a busy guy, having just wrapped his second collaboration with Gosling, "Only God Forgives," in Thailand last month. Gosling is also attached to star in another Refn project, the big budget remake of the classic sci-fi adventure "Logan's Run." On top of that all, Refn recently signed on to direct "Button Man: The Killing Game" for Dreamworks and produced a UK remake of his first film, "Pusher." Oddball or not, with so many interesting projects under his belt or in the pipe, Duroche had good reason to document what Refn was up to.

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