My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

A documentary directed by Winding Refn's wife, Liv Corfixen, and it follows the Danish-born filmmaker during the making of his 2013 film Only God Forgives.


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  • ★★★½ review by Matt Singer on Letterboxd

    Basically a DVD extra for ONLY GOD FORGIVES, but a pretty worthwhile one. I can't recall the last time I saw a director this honest about his insecurities (he worries his movie isn’t very good, and complains that he’s wasted years of his life on it) or his cynical calculations about audience tastes (“They want more of the same,” he moans when talking about the pressure to follow DRIVE with something equally commercial). Refn doesn’t come off that well -- he’s moody and self-obsessed and indecisive -- which is kind of interesting given the fact that his wife is the director. If my wife made a documentary that was this revealing and unflattering, I’d be furious. But I guess he got the last laugh; he dedicated THE NEON DEMON to her.

  • ★★★½ review by SilentDawn on Letterboxd

    While only slightly above the quality of an average behind-the-scenes documentary, My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn has quite a few moments of brutal honesty and painful revelations. Set during the filming of Refn's Only God Forgives, Liv Corfixen captures her husband as he slowly moves through the process of tackling such an ambitious project. If you're a huge fan of Refn's vibrant creation (like I am), then consider this documentary essential. Some of the footage is as in-depth and honest as anything that you'll see in a film-making documentary, with emotional breakdowns and failed shoots of filming sometimes veering towards a personal level that I don't care to see. Seeing such familial struggles breaks my heart.

    All in all, It's fascinating, and it proves that Nicolas Winding Refn, no matter how weird he might be, is an exceptional talent.

  • ★★★★★ review by Derek Diercksmeier on Letterboxd

    Nicolas Winding Refn is my everything.

    He is more than just my favorite filmmaker. Drive not only saved my life, but also provides me with infinite inspiration. In fact, all of his films are incredible and they all connect with me deeply. Only God Forgives is perhaps Refn's most controversial work and also one of my absolute favorite films. This documentary is an absolutely stunning look into the life of the director during production of that film. It's honestly heartbreaking to see my idol suffer and even view his creation as a waste of time. This was fearlessly intimate and nothing short of astounding.

    In 2012, Laurent Duroche directed a documentary titled NWR and it was also about Refn during the filming of Only God Forgives. However, that was much more traditional in how it profiled the director's career. My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn is the opposite of what NWR was. Liv Corfixen gives the film an extraordinary amount of intimacy and authenticity. It's quite shocking how intimate it really is. You see Nicolas and Liv interacting with their children, sometimes joined by Ryan Gosling. You see Nicolas confront the camera and bare his soul. You see Nicolas struggle with the pressure. You also see him read aloud one of the most scathing Cannes reviews. I vividly remember reading that initial stream of condemning reviews and feeling utterly crushed. Whether you like Only God Forgives or not, you must admit that any film that is the subject of two different documentaries is something of an achievement. This is essential viewing.

    Liv Corfixen is the world's greatest wife.

  • ★★★★★ review by Derek Diercksmeier on Letterboxd

    Nicolas Winding Refn is art.

    Nicolas Winding Refn is love.

    Nicolas Winding Refn is life.

  • ★★★½ review by Roberta on Letterboxd

    that moment in which refn thinks that only god forgives (2013) is better than drive (2011) must have been really hard for him

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