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WATCH: How Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Bronson’ Turns the Prison Movie Genre on Its Head

WATCH: How Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Bronson' Turns the Prison Movie Genre on Its Head

Although the primary charge in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson derives from the electric performance of Tom Hardy, as one of Britain’s most violent criminals, the film builds on a number of sources. As this elegantly stated video essay by Jessie McGoff points out, directors from Jim Sheridan to Stanley Kubrick can be found inside this complex, alarming, surreal work. Refn, in this essayist’s estimation, rewrites the work of these ancestors, not so much exploiting them as putting a new face on them. And, in so doing, Refn updates our conception of the “prison film,” a genre which one would think had run out of potential.

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