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Amazon will save indie cinema, says 'Drive' director

Stylish director Nicolas Winding Refn says Amazon made "the best offer I've ever gotten in my life" for his new film "The Neon Demon".

"Drive" auteur Nicolas Winding Refn directs Elle Fanning (pictured) and Keanu Reeves in this horror movie for Amazon.

Amazon

"Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn reckons Amazon will save indie filmmaking.

Speaking to Variety at the Cannes film festival, Refn described Amazon's production of original movies for its online streaming service as "a blessing" and "the key factor in saving independent cinema." Amazon funded his latest film, horror flick "The Neon Demon", with what Refn called "the best offer I've ever gotten in my life".

Refn also called Amazon "the best of both worlds" because it gives the film a theatrical release as well as streaming online.

A big-screen release is important to the Danish director because, he says, "the best way to see a movie is theatrical...We go to movies with our parents. We go to movies as a couple on a date night when the kids are with the babysitter...The cinematic experience is not just based on seeing the movie. It's based on the experience. The experience brings people together."

Rival streaming service Netflix makes original movies like Ricky Gervais' "Special Correspondents" available online, without theatrical release. Gervais recently said the freedom given by streaming services will allow "the return of the auteur."

Netflix and Amazon are currently locked in a big-name arms race, recruiting A-listers such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Woody Allen and many more to produce original movies and TV shows.