Pro Tools
•Register a festival or a film
Submit film to festivals Promote for free or with Promo Packages

FILMFESTIVALS | 24/7 world wide coverage

Welcome !

Enjoy the best of both worlds: Film & Festival News, exploring the best of the film festivals community.  

Launched in 1995, relentlessly connecting films to festivals, documenting and promoting festivals worldwide.

A brand new website will soon be available. Covid-19 is not helping, stay safe meanwhile.

For collaboration, editorial contributions, or publicity, please send us an email here

User login


RSS Feeds 

Martin Scorsese Masterclass in Cannes services and offers


Quendrith Johnson

Quendrith Johnson is Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
@Quendrith I Facebook I


LAFF: Ryan Gosling's DRIVE, DRIVE, DRIVE & Nicolas Winding Refn

By Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent


OMG. Can Ryan Gosling do anything wrong on screen? DAY 2 at LAFF, his movie DRIVE, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, unspooled to a packed house, almost SRO (standing room only) with a crush of fans waiting to see the power house Canadian-born actor and cast. 

New star Carey Mulligan, Christina Hendricks (AMC's "Mad Man"), Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, and Oscar Issac were there in support of the ultra-violent car-driven thriller slash love story. And DRIVE is arguably the monster in the box at LAFF, although it has already been shown at Cannes and one other venue.

"I love you," said Nicolas Winding Refn to Ryan Gosling as they high-fived on stage. "And, meeting Ron Perlman is like meeting Frank Sinatra... also I would like to thank my mother, who told me from the very beginning that I was a genius."

Based on James Sallis' 'taut thriller,' to use a book-world cliche, DRIVE adapted for the screen by Hossein Amini  is (all caps) AWESOME. Here's a candid and unpaid for review by an LAFF audience member at random: "Shit! It's great."

DRIVE has the same Art Director as KILL BILL, and with kudos to the look, it is Gosling in the lead that kills. Carey Mulligan also shines a spot in this gorged on gore roadkill movie. In sum, Gosling plays a mechanic/stunt drive who does driving for heists on the downlow... until he finds love and falls for Mulligan, wife of a con in the can. 

Mulligan is hideously endearing, so much so that her dimples radiate, and you can not help but love her character. Her young inquisitive son is also winning. Gosling and Mulligan have instant chemistry and Winding's isolation shots just rub their raw youthful beauty in your face. Bryan Cranston is beyond awesome, as ever.

DRIVE's wily director also knows how to stretch a scene for all it is worth, playing the audience in the quiet moments which will be supplanted by such violent scenes that Scorsese and Peckinpah would smile and WINCE. 

But Gosling is the money shot. With a cadre of stunt drivers, Gosling's Steve McQueen sensibility goes into the red zone as he rocks the wheel of any car thrown at him. Not a road movie, but a roadkill movie, shall we say, DRIVE proves that not only is Ryan Gosling a full-blown movie star, but he is probably the last of the free range males with both balls working in Hollywood.

At LAFF, the night of its star debut, Gosling does everything to tarnish his balls-to-the-wall-image, not just the goofy colored suit and whack socks, but he is smiling like a nice guy, a friendly guy. He high-fived Christina, Ron Perlman, anybody. 

Albert Brooks, whose real last name is Einstein, stands on the other side of Gosling, probably to take a miss on the high-five. He won't be moved, even when Ryan smiles and nods. Brooks is the heavy here, a storied director/writer slash everything-in-filmmaking really. In this movie, he gets to stab a guy in the head with a fork -- now that's exciting for a change. PS, did somebody shave his eyebrows?

Ryan Gosling is all about "Hey man," groovy, when his onscreen character has just taken a hammer to a bad guy's jaw bone, and buried a bullet down his throat. Perlman, who just got to watch himself brutally murdered on screen says, "I'll talk to you at the after party. You're going to the after party, right?" Perlman has a snarl that is not for the timid, and that's him being nice. He rocks DRIVE, as always.

General audience members came out of the Regal theater trembling, shaken and stirred by DRIVE. Mostly because the testicle-shrinking high-speed chases have included an eerily familiar drive by LA LIVE and the NOKIA center, where we are seated now.

The resolution is so awesome on the Regal's mega-screen that you can see the paint crack in the roll-over scene, and you can pick out the tones of various engines from the All-American car line-up.  DRIVE was the event film of DAY 2, and will hold its own among movies like Peter Fonda in DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY (1974) and 1971's TWO LANE BLACKTOP as an honorary roadkill must-see movie.

DRIVE is set for release in September, but the blood-letting may have to be trimmed for an MPAA nod on ratings. 

Stay tuned for LAFF DAY 3, from LA LIVE, to Chick Hearn Center, seen at the movies, and overheard at parties.

User images

About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

LA Correspondent for

United States

View my profile
Send me a message