Liv Corfixen‘s My Life Directed By Nicholas Winding Refn, a Hearts of Darkness-like doc about the making of Refn’s Only God Forgives, screened twice yesterday at Fantastic Fest. My interest is fanned by reports that it includes a sequence in which Refn reads a portion of my Cannes Film Festival pan of Only God Forgives. Dispenser’s Spencer Howard writes that the 58 minute-long film “is as fascinating as it is insightful.”
“Corfixen throws the promo-reel notion to the side by showing Refn’s struggles without resulting to a ‘we are a champion’ mentality at the end. Refn struggles with the technical and emotional making of the film and Corfixen doesn’t turn away, and sometimes leaves her anger with him on camera. No one looks like a good or bad guy — they both come off as real people who are trying to their jobs.
“Career choices are a big focus of the film. Does Refn expect Corfixen to be a ‘happy housewife’ or is she allowed a career of her own? It’s problem obviously on the couple’s mind well before the camera starts rolling.
“Refn seems acutely aware of being on camera at all times and continually avoids exposing himself or his fears. It usually takes something going extremely wrong or his wife to bring it out of him, and when it does happen it feels real. The details of Refn’s concern for perception come out naturally in the moments on screen, but the concerns and fears he faces feel more or less forced into the forefront of the story. It’s not surprising. Would you want to open up to your significant other on camera if you knew it would be shown to countless people?”
In a 11.7.13 HE post I reported that I’d given permission to Corfixen to quote from my 5.22.13 Only God Forgives review. I was told that the documentary would be “about what life is like married to an artist like Nicolas surrounding the making of Only God Forgives. She has footage of Nicolas reading aloud a portion of your review of OGF that was published on Hollywood-Elsewhere.com and would love to include it in the film. Copied on this email is Nicolas’ producing partner Lene Borglum. She would like to have your permission to use the quote from your review and can answer any questions you have.” My reply: “Funny. Sure, use away.”