Nicolas Winding Refn’s new streaming service, byNWR, is preparing to launch this spring, and fans can get a taste of what’s in store this week, with a new event hosted at the Royal Academy of Arts.
EXPRESSWAY is an evening of film, music and poetry, co-curated by byNWR and the Academicians’ Room. It will showcase byNWR, a site that is dedicated to the Drive director’s passion for the rare, forgotten and unknown.
Breathing new life into the intriguing and influential, the entirely free streaming service will launch quarterly volumes of content divided into monthly chapters, each centred around a fully-restored film. These revived cinematic gems will inspire other original content, curated by special Guest Editors, intended to build up a collaboration and exploration of culture from a wide community.
Volume 1, which is guest-edited by author and journalist Jimmy McDonough, highlights the 1965 Bert Williams film The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds, a previously lost low-budget gothic horror from the Florida Everglades, plus a feature dedicated to the unhinged camp of Texas director Dale Berry (Hot Thrills and Warm Chills, also from 1967). It will also feature a restored version of the notorious backwoods potboiler Shanty Tramp from the same year.
Hot Thrills and Warm Chills and The Nest of Cuckoo Birds have both premiered on byNWR partner MUBI in the last three months – you can read our reviews of them here. Tuesday’s event, meanwhile, will see the first UK screening of the newly restored Night Tide, featuring Dennis Hopper’s first starring role, which will be the centrepiece of byNWR’s Volume 2 in the summer. Santo vs The Infernal Men, filmed in Cuba just as the revolution gained steam, will also screen during the evening, along with exclusive content from byNWR.com and some words from its creator Nicolas Winding Refn, direct from the set of his Amazon TV series in LA.
Later in the evening, Ben Cobb, editor of AnOther Man magazine, will be in conversation with McDonough, while DJs Annabel Fraser, Ivan Smagghe and Nathan Gregory Wilkins, film composer Julian Winding, and some of the UK’s leading young poets – Caleb Femi, Bridget Minamore and James Massiah – will also be performing.
The event runs from 7pm to 11pm, with tickets now available for £15 at the Royal Academy website.
Stay tuned for more on byNWR, which we expect to launch in April or May.