Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 24, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 24, 2011 




Winding Refn 
is an aberrant 
visual artist. 
Drive, his latest 
work of art, 
combines striking imagery and an essence of cool 
that’s been missing in American cinema for quite 
sometime. It’s funny how a Danish director is the 
one to bring cool back in a way we haven’t seen 
in years. I’m not going to lie, Refn (winner of this 
year’s Cannes Film Festival for Best Director) was 
inspired by earlier films of the genre, but figures 
out a way to make this endeavor completely his 
own body of work. Essentially, Drive is about a 
chivalrous Hollywood stunt driver and loner, 
who moonlights as a getaway driver. He quickly 
finds himself caught up with the wrong people 
in a heist that goes terribly wrong. Yes, we’ve 
all seen movies of this conformation before, but 
I can promise you that you haven’t seen it like 
this. At face value, Drive is minimalistic and 
straightforward, but at its core, this uniquely 
developed drama/suspense film is ultra sleek, 
eloquently violent, beautifully composed and 
superbly acted.

The screenplay, adapted by Hossein Amini from 
the book by James Sallis is solid, but is light on 
dialogue. Drive is elevated by the electrifying 
performances of its cast. Ryan Gosling plays the 
nameless protagonist known as “The Driver” in 
such a subtle, but harrowing way. A man of few 
words, Gosling has never been this good. The 
mannerisms, the facial expressions, the pain 
behind those blue eyes make this character so 
memorable and exemplary. From Clint Eastwood 
to Steve McQueen to James Dean, Gosling 
exemplifies a true yet complex action hero with 
this character. Carey Mulligan, the woman 
down the hall of the driver’s apartment building, 
is affecting and excellent as Irene. She plays a 
mother waiting for her husband to be released 
from prison. However, she forms a strong affinity 
for the Driver and her little boy finds a surrogate 
father while his own father is locked up. The Driver 
sees a life he has never had and may never have 
with Irene and her son. In this light, the Driver 
seems vulnerable, sensitive, and compassionate. 
Without sappy or lovey-dovey trite dialogue, 
The Driver and Irene’s bond blossoms with little 
words that are ever spoken. Credit is due to Cliff 
Martinez’s romantic, electro-pop, electronica 
score. The tone and textures of this resonance 
fuels the poignant acting in the scenes shared 
on screen by Gosling and Mulligan. Bottom line, 
the score is a modern day masterpiece. At the 
other end of the spectrum is Albert Brooks. In 
an unlikely performance, Brooks plays a former 
80s Hollywood producer/mob boss that is scary, 
daunting, and ruthless. While his presence is 
limited, he is downright engrossing. It’s as almost 
as if his lines weren’t even written, but simply 
formed by Brooks himself. The movie quickly 
shifts into high gears after the Driver is part of an 
ill-advised heist gone awry. Gosling’s character 
goes from playing defense to offense in a flick 
of a switch. At this moment, all bets are off and 
the movie comes to life in unimaginable way. So 
while Drive deliberately starts off in the slow lane, 
it eventually kicks into overdrive at a blazing pace 
you can only hope to be equipped for. 

Refn’s penchant for violence and gore is 
overwhelmingly present here, but the bursts of 
brutality is enthralling, if not disturbing. While 
not for the faint at heart, the violent behavior 
in Drive is artful and vividly produced. These 
particular scenes rank among the finest of the 
year. On a technical level, Drive is flawless. I love 
the way it was shot. Every scene, every shadow 
within a scene, and the precise way light is used 
matters. Nothing feels wasted or oversaturated. 
Always taut and suspenseful, you’re eyes will 
never veer off screen. The film easily takes over 
all your senses with every single scene telling a 
story within itself. It’s simply the coolest film 
of the year. With powerhouse performances 
and Refn’s skillful directing, Drive is a tightly 
and impressively constructed motion picture 
worth seeing. Despite an extremely familiar 
storyline, a somewhat scattered plot, and earlier 
film influences, Drive still takes the viewer 
on a ridiculously wild ride. Buckle up because 
“it’s going to be a bumpy ride” is clearly an 
understatement here.

A Musical Tribute to Jazz VocalistsExperience the elegance ofa bygone musical era asthe theatre is transformedinto a musical time capsulefeaturing performancesby legendary jazz vocalistsDinah Washington,
Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simoneand Carmen McRaeto the backdrop of a live jazz trio.
Final 2011 PerformanceSunday, October 9th at 3pm(626) 355-4318Media Sponsor Produced by 
The Instrumental Women Project (IWP) is an arts agency member of 
E.M.E.R.G.E, the nonprofit fiscal sponsorship program of the Pasadena Arts Council.
Admission $30Group discounts six or moreTickets & Info Available at:
sierramadreplayhouse.orgorWritten and performed byvocalist extraordionaireMs. Phyllis BattleMusic Director, Vanessa BurchAnnouncer, James Janisse
The Book Report

by Jeff Brown

KENNEDY by Caroline Kennedy & Michael Beschloss 


 In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy recorded seven historic interviews about 
her life with John F. Kennedy. Now, for the first time, they can be heard 
and read in this deluxe, illustrated book and 8-CD set. Shortly after 
JFK’S assassination, with a nation deep in mourning and the world 
looking on in stunned disbelief, Jacqueline found the strength to set 
aside her own personal grief for the sake of posterity and begin the 
task of documenting and preserving her husband's legacy. In 1964, she 
and Robert F. Kennedy approved a planned oral history project that 
would capture their first hand accounts of the late President as well as 
the recollections of those closest to him throughout his political career. 
For the rest of her life, the private Jacqueline Kennedy steadfastly 
refused to discuss her memories of those years, but beginning that 
March, she fulfilled her obligation to future generations of Americans 
by sitting down with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and recording 
an astonishingly detailed and unvarnished account of her experiences 
and impressions . The tapes of those sessions were then sealed and 
later deposited in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library upon its 
completion. The resulting 8 1/2 hours of material comprises a unique, 
compelling record of a tumultuous era, providing fresh insights on the 
significant people and events that shaped JFK's presidency but also 
shedding new light on the man behind the momentous decisions. Here are JFK's unscripted opinions 
on a host of revealing subjects, including his thoughts and feelings about his brothers Robert and Ted, 
and his take on world leaders past and present, giving us perhaps the most informed, genuine, and 
immediate portrait of JFK we shall ever have. Mrs. Kennedy's perspective, candor, and her flashes of 
wit also give us our clearest glimpse into the active mind of a remarkable First Lady. Introduced and 
annotated by presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

OF ILLUSION by Darryl Bailey 

 Statements such as "there is no self," or "there is only God" 
are very simple descriptions of ordinary, everyday existence. 
All that's necessary for understanding them is a clear 
acknowledgement of your own life experience. Few people 
ever admit how life actually presents itself. This book points 
to your most basic experience of existence and asks you to 
consider what it reveals. Be prepared for surprises. Spontaneously 
drawn to meditation at age fourteen, Darryl spent 
the next seventeen years exploring awareness and concentration 
practices from Eastern and Western traditions. He is the 
author of several books including Dismantling the Fantasy. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: