This summer Danish film director Nicolas Winding Refn, known for such films as “Bleeder,” “Valhalla Rising,” “Fear X,” and “The Neon Demon,” launched the site “byNWR,” which celebrates long forgotten exploitation films of the 1960s and 1970s. Restored films such as “The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds (1965)” and “Shanty Tramp (1967)” are not the only raison d’etre for the site, as they serve as a starting point for collaboration between myriad artists of all disciplines, both current and posthumous.
A Mystical Process
According to first up guest editor and editorial director, biographer and journalist Jimmy McDonough, “We let the guest editor for the volume pick the contributors—with input from our team, if need be. The guest editor has the vision and we help realize it. The trick is picking that editor, which is the most elusive piece of the puzzle. I wish I could tell you how that works, but I’m not sure myself. It’s a mysterious, downright mystical process.” Other guest editors includes author and critic Bob Mehr.
Art by Bert Williams
Collaborative examples include the work of graphic novelist Tim Lane; a short story by Molly Scott; an exhibit of the legendary suits of Nudie Cohn (AKA Nuta Kotlyarenko); an interview with the front-woman of the band Demolition Doll Rods, Margaret Doll Rod; a biography of Frankie Miller, “The Greatest Country Singer You Never Heard”; author David K. Frasier writing about Florida murder, and much more. Bert Williams, the star of “Nest” gets a particularly deep treatment, with an extensive biography and a gallery of his artwork. There are also copious restoration details on each of the fully-restored films.
Photo courtesy of Nathan Schiff
Art courtesy of Stephen Thrower
Refn describes the site as “an unadulterated cultural expressway of the arts” that will “create a modern idea of what cinema will become.” According to their mission statement, “byNWR shares Nicolas Winding Refn’s passion for the rare, the forgotten and the unknown, breathing new life into the culturally intriguing and influential. Quarterly volumes of content divide into three monthly chapters, each featuring a fully-restored film.”
The Saga Of Margaret Dollrod: The Demolition Dollrods. Courtesy of Jimmy McDonough. Photo credit: Joe S.
Art: Jason Ngai
Art: Jason Ngai
First up was “Regional Renegades: Exploitation Gems from the Southern USA.” This was followed by this month’s chapter, “Missing Links”, comprised of “Night Tide” from 1963 (Dennis Hopper’s first starring role), “If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971)” and “Spring Night, Summer Night (1967)”; to be followed by “Hillbillies, Hustlers and Fallen Idols.” All of this is provided free of charge. Not only are these films streaming on the site, but also special screenings at venues around the globe are planned. The site is handsomely designed by the UK’s BUREAU Agency.
Stay tuned for coming attractions and bring the popcorn.
“B-Girl” by Tim Lane, an graphic short story and accompanying motion graphic that appears in conjunction with the restored film “Shanty Tramp.”
Art: Tim Lane
Special thanks to Jimmy McDonough, Jules Hammond and Tim Lane