Nicolas Winding Refn Calls Traditional Television “Dead”

Nicolas Winding Refn is a director with a mixed reception. Some have found his films, ranging from Valhalla Rising to Drive to The Neon Demon, to be either absorbing works or simply bizarre for the sake of being such. But it’s hard not to recognize a film of his one way or another. This past Friday, Refn chose to take the bold step of going from film to television with his new show Too Old to Die Young premiering on Amazon Video. The show, dealing with a grieving police officer finding himself in an underground world of hit men, has been a show that Refn himself seems to think can either be called a film or a TV show, based on whatever day he feels like calling it either. But in an interview this week with Indiewire, he goes as far as to say TV is just dead. He quoted the following:

What’s interesting about streaming for me – because television is dead as a doornail – but streaming is like a whole new opportunity, and if it’s a different concept, in a way, because it’s uncontrollable. You just log on [and] log off. It’s a coexistence now. Episodic television was designed when television was once a week on an analog channel. Why do we still retain the same narrative and constructions from a time that doesn’t even exist?

Even further, Refn is big on how streaming can change the form of content so it’s not restrained, ultimately in the hands of the users. He added the following, based on this:

For me, that’s the real excitement [in streaming]. It’s an endless amount of avenues you can now turn into. It can be one minute. It can be 20 hours. People don’t have the idea that something has to be a certain length because it’s like a book or going to a gallery or looking at a painting. You determine the time you want to invest based on where you are in your life, what you are attracted to, or what you want to spend your time on. So there’s a sense of freedom creatively to you not to be bound by any kind of control.

Whatever your thoughts on Refn, you can see how he transitions into the “dead” industry of television by checking out his new show on Amazon Video. Stay tuned!