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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn

Posted by Amoebite, October 5, 2016 12:35pm | Post a Comment

Nicolas Winding Refn What's In My Bag? Amoeba Hollywood

Just what is acclaimed director, producer, and screenwriter Nicolas Winding Refn listening to these days? Would you believe us if we told you it was ska? That's right, Mr. Refn, whose latest films have featured Cliff Martinez' moody '80s-inflected synth scores, has been getting into the up-beat, Jamaican, skankin' precursor to reggae. Before his and Cliff Martinez' recent soundtrack signing at Amoeba Hollywood the director picked up two great compilations by the legendary Jamaican labels Treasure Isle and Trojan. But, of course, it wasn't all island grooves for Refn, and we were not surprised to find a plethora of eclectic music in his bag.

The Neon Demon Blu-rayRefn launched onto the movie scene with the release of the Danish crime drama Pusher in 1996. This was followed by 1999's Bleeder, as well as two Pusher sequels in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Refn wrote his first English-language flick, Fear X, in 2003, but gained more attention with the 2008 release of Bronson, starring Tom Hardy.

His first major success in America came with 2011's Drive, a Cannes favorite that led to his acceptance of the festival's Best Director Award. Only God Forgives hit theaters next, and was followed in 2016 by The Neon Demon. The film was in competition for the Palme d'Or at Cannes that year--Refn's third picture to do so.

Given the importance of soundtracks in Refn's films, it was no surprise he picked up a few during his visit to Amoeba. What was unexpected for Refn was finding the score to The Red Balloon, which he calls "a beautiful soundtrack to one of the great cinematic experiences." He also picks up Vincent Price's Co-Star: The Record Acting Game and reveals he just bought the remake rights to Price's classic film, Witchfinder General. "I went to acting school for a year before I got kicked out, so I can brush up on my performance pieces with one of the kings of camp acting," he says. The director shares that he is a big fan of The Temptations and Peggy Lee, and buys multiple records by each artist. He also champions Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound, a box set chronicling the early stages of the club scene that would give birth to Prince. "I highly, highly would recommend getting this one, it's really, really groovy."

But what was Nicolas Winding Refn's first jazz record? And which famed African-American director/soundtrack composer does he inform us was also an accomplished photojournalist? You'll have to watch the video to find out:

Nicolas Winding Refn - What's In My Bag?
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What's In My Bag? (285), What's In My Bag (368), Cliff Martinez (5), Drive (15), The Neon Demon (3), Amoeba Hollywood (860), Nicolas Winding Refn (4), Only God Forgives (3), Peggy Lee (4), The Temptations (4), Vincent Price (4)