DVD Rating: **

Reviewed by: Tim Bryant

Read Tim Bryant's film review of Pusher

The most interesting special feature on this DVD is the film commentary with director Nicholas Winding Refn and fellow director Bill Lustig. The commentary serves as a foil for Refn’s considerable intelligence and personality.

His comments reveal his intentions to make an ultra low budget film but through connections he was able to get a subsidy of a million dollars, an unusual feat for a first time film-maker in Denmark.

Copy picture

We learn Pusher is the first real Danish gangster film, something which explains some of its authenticity. Refn displays his exemplary knowledge of film history and his influences. In the style Of Cassevetes he shot everything in chronological order. He was inspired by Scorcesse’ s crime films but also by an underground documentary about drug dealers in New York. He had originally intended to use no name actors but ended up firing his lead and getting hold of Danish institution Kim Bodnia. This kind of information bubbles out of the commentary in a way that’s too often different from other commentaries - it’s actually very interesting to listen to.

Constant insight is given, perhaps even more compelling for its view into little exposed Danish culture.

The sound and picture are also of top quality. However, the making of documentary is disappointing. There are some interesting bits about the shoot - Refn hung around extensively with underworld characters; there were few rehearsals and a lot of improvisation. But the piece is short and doesn’t bring out director Refn’s articulacy as in the commentary. Perhaps star Kim Bodnia sums it up: “Its boring: a film about a film”.

Reviewed on: 03 Oct 2006
Share this with others on...
Pusher packshot
Seminal gangster film about an unrepentant drug dealer. Out to own as part of the European Mavericks Heart Of Darkness box set.
Amazon link

Product Code: MTD5003

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9 enhanced widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Making of documentary, commentary by Director Nicholas Winding Refn and Bill Lustig, trailer

Search database: