The Most Violent Director in Movies, Valhalla Rising’s Nicolas Winding Refn, Explains His Most Brutal Scenes


Since his striking 1996 feature debut Pusher, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn has become one of international cinema’s foremost purveyors of the violent, twisted, and intense. His reputation as a cinematic poet of carnage has only been compounded over the last couple of years, with the rest of his blood-soaked Pusher trilogy, his acclaimed 2009 bare-knuckles biopic Bronson (starring Inception’s Tom Hardy), and the recent release of the brutal Viking epic Valhalla Rising (which opened in New York on Friday, expands to Los Angeles this week, and is available On Demand). His latest film features everything from men tied to posts chewing each other’s eyes out, to a guy pulling out another guy’s entire digestive system. We sat down with the surprisingly soft-spoken Danish visionary and asked him to go through his filmography and explain to us just how — and why — he imagined its most strikingly brutal scenes. (Warning: Much of the following video is not just NSFW, but also NSF the remotely sensitive viewer, regardless of where they are.)