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Only God Forgives (2013) Poster

Trivia

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Chang's (Vithaya Pansringarm's) outfit in this movie is what retired cops in Thailand wear.
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Julian (Ryan Gosling) only speaks seventeen lines throughout this movie.
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In his commentary, Writer and Director Nicolas Winding Refn states that Bangkok is a radically different city depending on the time of day. If it is daytime, it is, in his words, like Disneyland. By night, however, things are far more sinister.
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Writer and Director Nicolas Winding Refn directed Vithaya Pansringarm by whispering into his ear: "You are God".
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Production hit a snag when it became necessary to pay off the local authorities in order to get permission and protection to film at night, including firing gunshots, for certain scenes. Writer and Director Nicholas Winding Refn and Executive Producer and Actor Ryan Gosling were invited to a film festival in Thailand. After some negotiating and taxes, they received ninety thousand dollars in cash for showing up. Refn recounts in his commentary how, having never seen that amount in cash in his entire life, he enjoyed counting it out. It was enough to bribe the necessary authorities, and production continued.
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The second movie by Nicolas Winding Refn dedicated to Alejandro Jodorowsky, after Drive (2011).
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Ryan Gosling underwent rigorous Muay Thai training for two hours a day, four days a week with Muay Thai master Kiu Puk, and a traditional Thai diet to train for this role.
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According to a Nicolas Winding Refn Q&A at Bam, the infamous insult "cum dumpster" was added into the movie after Refn (late one night) asked Ryan Gosling to come up with a list of the most vile words you could say to a woman. That word was at the top of his list.
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Writer and Director Nicolas Winding Refn got the idea for this movie while his wife was pregnant with their second daughter. He felt very existentialistic and felt he had much anger and violence in him, but did not know how to let it out. Suddenly, he had the idea that the definite person to hold all of the answers to existential questions and life's problems was God, and imagined himself having a physical fight with God.
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Crystal (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas), Julian's mother, was modelled after William Shakespeare's character Lady Macbeth and Fashion Designer Donatella Versace.
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Dame Kristin Scott Thomas has said that she finds this movie very disturbing and hard to watch.
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Nicolas Winding Refn's approach to this movie changed when his daughter saw a ghost in her room in Thailand. He said that in the west, they'd have locked him up if he said there was a ghost, but in the Orient, they called a shaman to make the spirit go away. He claimed that that experience made him realize that spirituality had another meaning in Asia, and that he wanted to make a movie with that kind of mysticism.
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The name "Chang" is Thai for "elephant", considered a sacred animal in Thailand due to its place in Buddhist mythology as possibly being the father of Buddha.
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Writer and Director Nicolas Winding Refn said that Gaspar Noé's work was an inspiration during the making of this movie. The latter was seen visiting the set during the shooting in Bangkok. He is also in the "Special Thanks" of the credits.
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This movie was largely shot chronologically and scenes were often edited the day they were shot.
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In an earlier version of the screenplay, Chang didn't use a sword. He used anything that was at his reach.
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Nicolas Winding Refn has hinted that One-Eye from Valhalla Rising (2009) might appear in this movie in a new incarnation. Refn has hinted that it might be Chang.
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Cinematographer Larry Smith has said that nearly the entire movie was shot with practical lighting, and that only one or two scenes were lit with traditional movie lights.
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According to Nicolas Winding Refn, this movie is a thriller produced as a western, all in the Far East, and with a modern cowboy hero.
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In terms of the musical inspiration for this movie, Nicholas Winding Refn refers to how much of an influence the scores of Bernard Herrmann were. For the temperature score by which they edited this movie, they used Herrmann's score from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), which, Refn found out soon after, is Composer Cliff Martinez's personal favorite.
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The protagonist was originally British and re-written as an American.
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Luke Evans was originally cast in the lead role, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).
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In an interview with Director William Friedkin, Nicolas Winding Refn mentioned that he considers this movie to be a masterpiece. Friedkin proceeded to ask for an ambulance for Refn and berated him.
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This is the third movie of Nicolas Winding Refn featuring Gordon Brown.
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The short sword that Chang wields seems to be a "Kachin dha", from the Jingpho or Kachin people who inhabit the Kachin Hills in northern Burma's Kachin State, and neighboring areas of China and India. The name "dha" is used for a wide variety of knives and swords used by many people across Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Yunnan, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
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About twenty percent of this movie was shot with a Red Epic camera owned by Ryan Gosling.
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Swedish underground filmmaker Henrik Möller felt that this movie was too cynical and did not warrant anything more than a Pirate Bay download.
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An official Danish-French co-production in accordance with the 1992 European convention on cinematographic co-production.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

It was Ryan Gosling's idea to open the stomach of Julian's dead mother. He had it after Writer and Director Nicolas Winding Refn asked him if he'd rather smile or cry after Julian's mom's death. He replied that he'd open her uterus to see what's inside.
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In the screenplay, there was another scene at the end where Mai (Yayaying Rhatha Phongam) feeds pudding to the armless Julian (Ryan Gosling).
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The fight scene between Chang and Julian turned out differently in an earlier version of the script: Chang and Julian wore traditional clothes, and before fighting, they performed a traditional dance, and at some point of the fight, Julian was winning until Chang says "I forgive you" and ends up beating Julian.
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Although Ryan Gosling went under heavy Muay Thai training for his role, his character (Julian) fails to land a single hit and is easily defeated by Chang.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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