Fantastic Fest Interview: Filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn On His Book ‘THE ACT OF SEEING’


4_THE_ACT_OF_SEEING_FRONTPreston Barta // Editor

While he’s certainly had his hands full lately with his upcoming film THE NEON DEMON, filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (DRIVE, ONLY GOD FORGIVES) stopped in Austin, TX, for a special exhibit and signing celebration of his new book, THE ACT OF SEEING.

Nicolas Winding Refn during Fantastic Fest. Photo by Jack Plunkett.

Nicolas Winding Refn during Fantastic Fest. Photo by Jack Plunkett.

Co-authored by London’s FrightFest curator and acclaimed horror expert Alan Jones, THE ACT OF SEEING shares Refn’s unique collection of over 300 rare American film posters, which are all bound in a rich hardcover book. Stemming from an obsession with the art house film posters that decorated the exterior walls of local movie theatres, the book shows Refn’s earliest visual connection with film, including the vintage visuals of SPIKED HEELS AND BLACK NYLONS, OBSCENE HOUSE and ALICE IN ACIDLAND to THE TWISTED SEX, TORTURE ME KISS ME and ZERO IN AND SCREAM.

Fresh Fiction had the opportunity to catch up with Refn to discuss his new book, his film tastes compared to his wife’s, and thoughts on modern posters.

Our interview with Nicolas Winding Refn Discusses THE ACT OF SEEING:

0:13-1:32 | How his tastes in film align with his wife’s
1:32-1:56 | How many films in the book his wife has seen
1:56-2:15 | Purpose of his book
2:15-2:35 | Where you can find the films in the book
2:35-3:21 | Thoughts on modern posters and his movie posters
3:21-3:42 | Familiarity with the films in the book
3:21-4:47 | If someone made a film about his life

THE ACT OF SEEING hits shelves on Monday, October 5th. You can pre-order it now at

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.