Ryan Gosling skips Cannes premiere of controversial film
Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 02:09
May 23 - Director Nicolas Winding Refn defends his use of violence in his competition movie 'Only God Forgives', though Ryan Gosling is absent from the premiere at the Cannes film festival. Joel Flynn reports.
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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: CONTAINS PROFANITY
All smiles off the screen but few on it in Ryan Gosling's new movie "Only God Forgives", premiered at Cannes on Tuesday.
The A-list actor notable by his absence on the red carpet, instead in the U.S. directing his first movie.
Director Nicolas Winding Refn and Gosling had previously teamed up for the 2011 hit 'Drive'.
But despite winning the best director award two years ago, Refn is still having to defend the bloody nature of his tales.
SOUNDBITE: Director Nicolas Winding Refn, saying (English):
"I have surely a fetish for violent emotions, violent images, and I just can't explain where it comes from but I do believe through art it's a way to exorcise certain things in you."
Only God Forgives is a story of revenge.
Set in the haunting neon streets of Bangkok, it describes the tale of two brothers running a boxing club as a front for a drugs ring.
Gosling's character must battle his own demons whilst seeking retribution for the bloody death of his brother.
Kristen Scott Thomas plays Gosling's cruel mother, demanding the heads of her son's killers -- a departure from her more typical aristocratic female roles.
SOUNDBITE: Actress, Kristin Scott Thomas and Director, Nicolas Winding Refn, saying (English):
SCOTT THOMAS: "I was quite excited about playing someone - as you say - someone far away from the privileged... well, privileged is not the right word... the upper class thing that English people seem to love to see me in. And so I was excited about that, but as we got nearer and as the project developed it just got more and more despicable and..."
REFN: "She had no problem turning on the bitch switch."
SCOTT THOMAS: "It was frighteningly easy actually."
Only God Forgives has so far divided critics at Cannes -- some even walking out during torture scenes.
But Gosling's enduring popularity could yet see the competition movie's violence forgiven.
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