There are plenty of filmmakers who rail against the nature of streaming, and the majority of them either haven’t or have no intention of making the jump to on-demand. The case of Nicolas Winding Refn is different in that he’s been quite happy to suckle at the teat, only to turn around and launch some incendiary comments in the direction of his former paymasters.
The distinctive and regularly-polarizing mind behind the likes of Drive, Only God Forgives, and The Neon Demon launched an interesting tirade at streamers during an appearance at the Venice Film Festival, taking issue with how the companies in question have “devalued content to just a swipe,” and “kind of saturated everything.”
Now, in microcosm that would be fine, but it’s definitely worth mentioning that the last two projects on Winding Refn’s filmography just so happen to be Prime Video’s crime drama miniseries Too Old to Die Young for Prime Video, and the unhinged supernatural noir Copenhagen Cowboy for Netflix. Clearly, he had no issues letting them finance his creative vision, even though he’s now stating that streamers have been “overfunded and rotten with money and cocaine” for years.
It’s an interesting mindset considering that Amazon and Netflix quite literally paid for the last two credits on his resume – with Winding Refn being out of the feature business entirely since 2016 – and you’ve got to imagine that he may not be invited back to collaborate with either following his outburst. Not that he seems to mind, but it’s a strange way of biting the hand that just fed you.
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