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Text Commentary

Drive (2011): Sound Design
by Brett Service `

In this opening getaway sequence from 'Drive' (2011), Nicolas Winding Refn utilizes sound design to modulate the ebb and flow of suspense, anticipation, climax, and resolution. Notice how the prominence of various sound elements at various moments contribute to the viewer's emotional experience of the scene. Ryan Gosling's performative stillness is deliberately opaque and resistant to providing these cues for the viewer, thereby testifying to his professionalism and composure under pressure. The integration of Cliff Martinez's throbbing score with occasional dialogue, the sports broadcast on the radio, the police communication on the police scanner, the engine noise, and eventual crowd noise is meticulously organized for maximum emotional impact. The Driver's cool professionalism is matched by Refn's versatility in staging this sequence and sets up audience expectations about the story and its main character.

This Commentary is related to the following Clips:
Drive (2011): Opening Car Chase Drive (2011): Opening Car Chase by Nicolas Winding Refn (2011) In this opening sequence from 'Drive' (2011), the integration of various sound design elements carries the urgency of the scene and conveys the The Driver's mastery of his vehicle