With the ultra-violent Only God Forgives, director Nicolas Winding Refn felt the need to exorcise some desires

Director Nicolas Winding Refn, interviewed by The Dissolve:

Television has gotten much more aggressive, and much more mind-expanding and progressive than cinema, which is still the crown jewel, and will always be the crown jewel. We need to remember that cinema is not just about, “How much money did you make on Friday to Monday?” but also, “What is your actual interest?” Filmmaking is an art form, and the art can inspire. But if everyone’s afraid of standing out and risking polarization, which essentially means it’s a singular vision, then the world will become less interesting.

It’s a well spoken point. Among the film critics I follow on Twitter, TV discussion comes up again and again; we’re truly in a remarkable time period. I just haven’t seen film take the same risks over the last year or so, at least compared to years prior.

Alas, Refn’s “singular vision” reached a point of near parody in Only God Forgives. I’m generally a big fan of Refn’s work, and Only God Forgives is a visually striking, haunting film with a great Cliff Martinez score. But by the end the style excess and lack of dialogue felt suffocating.