Whenever the radio plays the notes of Kavinsky’s Nightcall it is impossible not to think about Drive. This cult movie, directed by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn and masterfully interpreted by Ryan Gosling, hit theaters in the autumn of 2011 and is now (already!) ten years old. The film, an awesome noir-flavored dramatic thriller, has the merit of having brought to the big screen an aesthetic that before was definitely a niche. Yes, because Drive is not only a great movie, but also the manifesto of an artistic movement that has been quietly making its way since the early 2000s. Call it Retrowave, Synthwave, Retrofuture or even Vaporwave… call it what you want, but this movement could no longer stay silent. From the launch poster of the film it is clear that the atmospheres are totally inspired by the aesthetics of the 80s: pink italic text, neon, the palettes and the soundtrack, with the French artist Kavinsky (one of the precursors of Synthwave) who signs the iconic opening theme.
Going back to the movie, the plot is taken from a novel by James Sallis and tells the story of “Driver” (Ryan Gosling), a cold and taciturn pilot with a double life, a stuntman by day and a driver serving crime by night. Everything changes when he meets his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) and son Benicio. A scenario that perfectly mixes thriller with romanticism and the result is a real contemporary fairytale. “Driver” falls in love with Irene and finds himself stuck in a criminal plot in an attempt to help “Standard” (Oscar Isaac), Irene’s husband, involved in shady deals. Faced with the desire for an impossible love, the main character leaves behind a macabre trail of blood with the intent of saving the life of a woman, already knowing that they won’t ever be together. Worth mentioning, the cast includes the excellent Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men).
A context, that of Drive, which has inspired a myriad of artists, so much so that it has filled the web with many artworks and tributes. A small cultural turning point that still influences mainstream aesthetics. We selected the ones that, in our opinion, are the best you can find around the web.