‘Drive’ on an interactive tour of Los Angeles

Posted by · 4:30 pm · August 31st, 2011

It’s no secret both Guy and I are full on in the tank for Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive.” It’s one of the year’s best films, full of the promise of a fresh young filmmaker just beginning to sample his abilities for us all.

One of the big takeaways for me when I saw the film at Comic-Con, I noted, was a reverence for the city of Los Angeles. “I don’t think another director has so completely captured the aura of the city like [Michael] Mann,” I wrote at the time, “but Refn comes really close.” And when I spoke to Refn later that evening, he mentioned to me that he feels Los Angeles is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, more so, even, than a picturesque burg like New York.

With that in mind, my esteemed colleague Jen Yamato has come up with one of those ideas at Movieline that I wish I had stumbled on: an interactive tour of Los Angeles with Refn’s thoughts on the locations he used throughout the shoot.

For instance, regarding Nino’s Pizzeria, the pizza shop owned by a mobster played by Ron Perlman in the film, Refn had this to say:

That was shot in the valley, and it was difficult to find because I wanted a real ‘New York’ kind of pizza shop, where you walk in from the street to get a slice. But also a place that basically looks like a front for something else. Most of the places in L.A. were more like restaurant-oriented, where being a New Yorker you’re used to just walking in and getting a slice. I wanted that feel more, because Nino (Ron Perlman) is, you know, a Jewish man who wants to be an Italian gangster. That’s why Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) calls him Izzie; that’s his real name. It was 100 percent [practical]. I like to find practical locations because it helps the actors a lot, to recreate everything.

There’s plenty more at Movieline, with addresses and everything. So if you so desire, you can take off on a “Drive” tour of the city. Just stay away from elevators.

[Photo: FilmDistrict]

→ 10 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

10 responses so far

  • 1 8-31-2011 at 4:40 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    This is fantastic. Now I’ll be even further distracted from studying. AWESOME!

  • 2 8-31-2011 at 4:51 pm

    James said...

    You’re not making the 2 week wait any easier. So pumped.

  • 3 8-31-2011 at 5:31 pm

    Stewart said...

    Saw this movie last night and hate to use such a corny expression but was blown away. This is the kind of art you don’t see much anymore anywhere. So gutsy. And you must put Brooks in the top five for supporting. That is one of the most unexpected knockout performances of many years. So totally and completely out of left field. Brilliant!

  • 4 8-31-2011 at 6:49 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Yeah yeah yeah, Los Angeles beautiful, New York beautiful, blah blah blah beautiful. Enough of these two cities please.

  • 5 8-31-2011 at 7:00 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    What’s the point of that comment? Elaborate, please.

  • 6 8-31-2011 at 8:04 pm

    Speaking English said...

    It doesn’t go much deeper than my being somewhat irked with the constant love/exposure those two cities always get in the media. It’s as if they make up the entirety of the US!

  • 7 8-31-2011 at 8:05 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No but they are undoubtedly entertainment capitals of the country and therefore would receive lots of attention in an industry built around film.

  • 8 8-31-2011 at 8:53 pm

    DylanS said...

    These is a distinct aesthetic to every major city in this country, and it’s always worth pointing out when somebody (in this case, Refn) gets the feel of it right. It’s a hard thing to explain, but in the right film, the city can almost become a character of its own.

  • 9 9-01-2011 at 12:04 am

    pascal le duff said...

    I never understood the sexyness of cars. I think I do now, thanks to that movie. Refn gives that feeling. Not by making the driver a womanizer, but by his tempo, his use of music, and the way Ryan Gosling gives life to his character. Each time he is behind that wheel, there is that raw energy in his performance and Refn’s direction, whether he is with Carey Mulligan ( with feelings then ) or with runaway burglars ( as in a one night stand ).

    Or maybe, it’s just me. Anyway, this movie is a delight, with a screenplay that allows its characters to fully exist and great performances.

  • 10 9-01-2011 at 5:54 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Dylan: Absolutely. And that is completely the case in Drive.