Ryan Gosling casts Detroit under dark fairytale in 'Lost River'

Thu Apr 9, 2015 11:09am EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When filming his directorial debut "Lost River" in Detroit, a city struggling to survive bankruptcy after economic decline, actor Ryan Gosling said he wanted to "eliminate the political minutiae" by using fairytale archetypes.

"Lost River," written and directed by "Drive" star Gosling and out in U.S. theaters and video-on-demand on Friday, follows the coming-of-age tale of a boy named Bones against the stark, desolate backdrop of Detroit's decaying towns.

"People are living in specific neighborhoods and conditions that feel like it could only happen in a movie," Gosling said at last month's South By Southwest Festival in Austin, where the film made its U.S. premiere.

The film encompasses deeply saturated, striking images of burning houses, overgrown streets and an eerie underwater lost town, blurring the lines of real and surreal and lending itself to Gosling's urban fairytale format.

"You could feel like you're the last people on earth, that the world doesn't care about you, and we wanted to tap into the universal themes in that," he said.

As Bones (Iain de Caestecker) attempts to scrape together money and his mother (Christina Hendricks) is forced to become a macabre performance artist to save their family home.

Bully (Matt Smith) is the scissor-wielding villain and Rat (Saoirse Ronan), the princess next door who is not quite waiting to be rescued, is among the film's many steely female characters.

"I grew up with strong female characters in my life and that's growing, and I just feel like that's my reality," said Gosling, who recently welcomed a baby daughter with actress Eva Mendes, who also stars in the film.   Continued...

Director Ryan Gosling poses on the red carpet as he arrives for the screening of the film "Lost River" in competition for the category "Un Certain Regard" at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 20, 2014.   REUTERS/Eric Gaillard