If there was an actual sports-like competition between the collective streaming companies and traditional media, filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn would be streaming’s #1 fan, complete with the oversized foam finger and face paint. In the lead up to the release of his new Amazon series “Too Old to Die Young,” the filmmaker has been the biggest cheerleader for streaming than anyone before him. Refn does, of course, promote the content of his series, but really, he wants everyone to know that streaming is the future and you better be willing to change.
Speaking to IndieWire, Refn takes time to talk about “Too Old to Die Young,” which he goes back and forth between calling a “film” and a “series.” He also explains why streaming is not just an exciting new avenue for creators to explore, but also the death of traditional TV.
“What’s interesting about streaming for me — because television is dead as a doornail — but streaming is like a whole new opportunity,” he said. “And if it’s a different concept, in a way, because it’s uncontrollable.”
He continued, “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?”
However, if you drop in and don’t enjoy the show after 30 minutes, Refn is okay with that. He compares the idea of streaming a series as buying a new book. He says that when you purchase a book, you don’t read the first page, you pick a passage in the middle and see if it interests you.
So, if you give “Too Old to Die Young” a shot, but it’s not for you, Refn would like to tell you, “I would say, appreciate the experience. Thirteen hours is a long time in someone’s life.”
As you read more about Refn’s experience with his streaming series, you can feel the excitement from the filmmaker. He feels completely enthusiastic about the medium of streaming entertainment and is in love with the freedom it brings. Not just with the content but also the form.
“For me, that’s the real excitement [in streaming],” he said. “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.”
He added, “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 don’t to be bound by any kind of control.”
Well, after waiting so long, fans of Refn will get the chance to see how the outspoken writer-director handled this newfound freedom. “Too Old to Die Young” is available now on Amazon Prime Video. The filmmaker also shared a new clip from the series, which you can watch below.
— Nicolas Winding Refn (@NicolasWR) June 8, 2019