Nicolas Winding Refn is launching his own streaming service, with a focus on restoring and reviving gems from cinema history.
byNWR.com will see The Drive and Neon Demon director use quarterly themes to share his passion for the rare, forgotten and unknown, aiming to breathe new life into the culturally intriguing and influential. Each quarter will be divided into three monthly chapters, each featuring a fully-restored film, with content curated by special Guest Editors to support them.
From essays, music, video, and photography to cultural ephemera, the diverse content created by an array of contributors reflects the themes expressed in each volume’s chosen films. The fluidity of the site as it evolves and expands will encourage exploration of a wide range of avenues by curators, writers and the engaged creative public, building a community of contributors beyond the Guest Editors.
All content and films will be entirely free.
Volume 1, entitled Regional Renegades: Exploitation Gems from the Southern USA, is guest-edited by author and journalist Jimmy McDonough, and highlights the 1965 Bert Williams film The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds, a previously lost low-budget gothic horror from the Florida Everglades, now restored and premiering to the public for the first time in more than 50 years. It also features a restored version of the notorious backwoods potboiler Shanty Tramp (1967) and a feature dedicated to the unhinged camp of Texas director Dale Berry (Hot Thrills and Warm Chills, also 1967).
Missing Links: Restored and Rediscovered Classics of American Independent Cinema, Volume 2, will be guest edited by film magazine Little White Lies, and includes Curtis Harrington’s 1963 debut avant-garde classic Night Tide in a new restoration from its original 35mm camera negative. This quarterly volume will also bring to light Spring Night, Summer Night (1967), a piece of Appalachian neorealism never given a wide release, and 1970s evangelical Christian horror films of Rev. Estus W. Pirkle, including If Footmen Tire You, What Would Horses Do? and The Burning Hell.
Presentations of these restored films will also screen in selected cinemas and other venues around the world, and byNWR will work with key partners to curate and produce new original music projects, as well as merchandise to complement the volumes.
London-based agency Bureau has been closely working with Nicolas Winding Refn since conception as publishers and activators of the byNWR vision. Working with key partners including Harvard Film Archive (film restoration) and label Milan Records (music production and promotion) helps round out this digital proposition. byNWR has also joined forces with online platform MUBI to deliver world-class streaming technology and MUBI members will have exclusive early access to the restored films.
Nicolas Winding Refn announced the new initiative, followed by a double-bill screening of the new 4K restoration of Night Tide, and the 2K restoration of The Nest of Cuckoo Birds, last night at the Lumière Festival in Lyon.
The platform will launch online in February 2018.