Pusher

  • 105'
  • Denmark
  • 1996
When Nicolas Winding Refn made this film ten years ago, it was simply another powerful début by an obviously talented director. A skilful variation on what had not yet revealed itself to be an indestructible theme, populated by hot-headed petty gangsters, heroin whores and corrupt cops. It was clear that Refn was not allowing himself to be intimidated by masterpieces like Mean Streets and Taxi Driver. Now that this début film is part of a more-than impressive trilogy, we can see even better how the harsh realism of Pusher was able to breathe new life into a genre. The film tells the story of the failed drugs dealer Frank, who is briefly able to taste the illusion of a major deal. The drugs do not belong to him and when he has to dump them while on the run from the police, he suddenly finds himself with an enormous debt. He dredges the underworld of Copenhagen like a madman in an attempt to raise the cash in time. What distinguishes this film from the usual gangster flick, and what will acquire an increasingly self-assured form as the series progresses, is the way all the clichés of the genre are ignored without sacrificing the classic dramatic skeleton. And this is largely why Refn's gangsters do not look like screen gangsters, but more like the real McCoy. (GjZ)
Director
Nicolas Winding Refn
Country of production
Denmark
Production Year
1996
Festival Edition
IFFR 2006
Length
105'
Medium
35mm
Language
Danish
Producers
Balboa Enterprise, Henrik Danstrup
Sales
Nordisk Film International Sales
Screenplay
Jens Dahl, Nicolas Winding Refn
Cinematography
Morten Søborg
Editor
Anne Østerud
Production Design
Kim Lovetand Julebaek
Sound Design
Jim Skau Andersen, Klas Baggström, Petur Einerson
Music
Povl Kristian, Peter Peter
Cast
Mads Mikkelsen, Kim Bodnia, Zlatko Buric
Local Distributor
E1 Entertainment Benelux