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Entries in Denis Villeneuve (27)

Monday
Oct022017

Beauty vs Beast: Dreaming of Electric Sheep

Jason from MNPP here... or am I? Is this me? Am I here? So many existential questions here on the eve of the release of Blade Runner 2049 this weekend and all I have is a "Beauty vs Beast" poll to face them down with. Y'all gotta help me suss it out! Are we a Deckard (Harrison Ford) or are we a Pris (Daryl Hannah)? And is this the version of life with the voiceover and the unicorns or isn't it? I am so confused...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we wished David Lynch's Eraserhead a happy 40th birthday, and in a delightfully close contest you came down on the side of the pulsating little baby pod thing - a testament to a special effect that Lynch himself steadfastly refuses to label as such, I'd say. Said Nick T:

"Baby, because I asked my dad if he resonated with Henry's parental struggles raising me and he gave me a look that said I was still making him struggle."

Wednesday
Feb012017

Link Link Land

The Daily Beast Michael Musto talks to an anonymous Oscar voter about who they're voting for. They're very unhappy with Meryl Streep's 20th and La La Land's 14
/Film Barry Jenkins chooses movies from the Criterion Collection -wonderful. (And people forget how obsessed people were with La Haine when it came out)
Variety ABC picked up a pilot starring Toni Collette. Please let it be good. Miss her so much. Totally the best actress that directors aren't using which I will NEVER understand
Cinematic Corner Sati falls for The Handmaiden


Film School Rejects on Stranger Things SAG acceptance speech and season two
MNPP Jason lets Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) take him on a train of thought and it is a joy as is that movie or at least Gable and Franchot Tone in it
Village Voice Bilge Ebiri's 10 favorites from Sundance include Where is Kyra? and Mudbound
World of Reel Ben Affleck will no longer be directing The Batman movie 
Pajiba has news of an incredibly problematic sounding new Mel Gibson movie about police brutality.
Four Two Nine good piece on LGBT characters still being stuck in the "best friend" / "helper" mode despite many more gay characters in film and television  
Tracking Board HBO developing a movie about the behind-the-scenes on The Godfather (1972). I mean who gets to play Marlon Brando and Diane Keaton. Those seem like tall orders (lots of people can do a decent Al Pacino)

Off Cinema
Playbill Hamilton is doubling the amount of seats in its lottery starting... yesterday. Good luck!
Village Voice fascinating piece on the billionaire subgenre within romance novels
Los Angeles Times on how the travel ban is worrying Hollywood the business aspects of Hollywood and the talent pool
The Guardian Johnny Depp is suing and being countersued... and he's spending money as wildly and foolishly as Nicolas Cage once did (if you're wondering why they both make so many bad movies) 

Dune Again
As was previously rumored but is now true, Denis Villeneuve has signed on to direct Dune. He mentioned this as a possibility in our interview recently and sounded very excited about it, having been a fan of the novel his whole life. But still, TWO reboots of two beloved sci-fi properties back-to-back with Blade Runner 2049 up next? And right after your Oscar nomination after such deserved momentum from doing your own thing (Enemy-Prisoners-Sicario-Arrival)?! I guess this is cashing in while also fulfilling a dream but it worries this fan of Villeneuve doing his own thing.  

Though the David Lynch film from 1984 had its issues it also had some deeply memorable imagery so at the very least it will be interesting to see how his version measures up.

Thursday
Jan122017

Interview: Denis Villeneuve on "Arrival" and his Future with Sci-Fi

by Nathaniel R

Though awards season is a roller coaster of emotion each year, one of its purely happiest annual trends is the sudden recognition of talent that have been doing consistently fine work all along. This year's "it's about time!" contender is surely 49 year old French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. A famous director at home with six wins at Canada's own Oscars, "the Genies," people are still learning his name in Hollywood and beyond. His international breakthrough was Incendies (2010) about twin siblings journeying to the war torn Middle East. It was nominated for the BAFTA and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. Since that breakthrough his profile in Hollywood has steadily risen and he's shown a gift for directing movie stars, versatility with genre, and a particularly refined skill at building and maintaining tension at feature length which has provided thrilling moments in all of his recent films from Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013), Sicario (2015), and on to his current biggest hit yet  Arrival (2016).

Today he received a DGA nomination for Best Director, the surest awards season sign that a movie will be a Best Picture contender at the Oscars. Our conversation follows...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec192016

A "Blade Runner 2049" Teaser is Here!

Chris here. Denis Villeneive has scored his biggest box office hit with Arrival (it's inching close to $100M) but he could score an even bigger hit next year with Blade Runner 2049. The sequel is bound to spur steady curiosity and shrieks of sacrilege from the original's faithful over the next year, but Villeneuve should be the force that unites both factions. And to ease (or maybe exacerbate) those thoughts, we have our first look at the visuals with the just released teaser! We'll save the full YNMS for a more revealing trailer, but I have some thoughts...

  • That's a lot of voiceover for a teensy trailer. Uh oh, did they not learn from the original's struggles?
  • Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins, reunited and it feels so good.
  • Ryan Gosling gives good coat. With all that mood and stoicism, this teaser plays like Only God Forgives but, you know, not terrible.
  • We see you on that piano, Ryan. La La Land crossover fanfiction!
  • With these mostly dusty hues, it's a relief to know that this might be a decades late sequel that doesn't borrow too much from its original, no?
  • Deckard seems to have gone all McMansion while in hiding. Maybe Sean Young is lurking somewhere after all.

What do you think of this first look?

Sunday
Dec182016

Who's Joining Jenkins & Chazelle in the Best Director Shortlist? 

While working on Oscar chart updates, Best Director suddenly felt quite loose and ripe for shifting favor. While the Directors Guild Nominations will surely clarify that race to an extent those aren't until January 12th, a week after Oscar nomination voting begins. Right now though the coveted nominations for Best Director look fairly up in the air beyond the two thirtysomething wonder boys who have been showered with the most honors already: Damien Chazelle (La La Land) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). 

La La Land is only Chazelle's third feature (though many would mistake it for his second) and Moonlight is only Jenkins second (though many would mistake it for his first) so they're relative newbies. Oscar, however, is an octogenarian institution and they aren't always comfortable handing everything over the reigns to fresh blood. In fact the Best Director's race isn't usually that amenable to multiple fresh faces. You have to go back to 2009 to find an Oscar year with two directors nominated that were this green in their filmmaking careers (Jason Reitman's Up in the Air was his third feature and Precious was Lee Daniel's second) and they definitely weren't the frontrunners. For a long this year we were predicting a shortlist of all first-time nominees in the directing category but that hasn't happened since 1999. It's not a common occurrence.

Oscar's love of long-since proven directors suggests good news for Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Eastwood (Sully) or Scorsese (Silence) but the only one of those films with any noticeable precursor heat is Hacksaw Ridge and are they really going to welcome Gibson back in the year of angry white men upsetting the world with their prejudices? 

Kenneth Lonergan and Denis Villeneuve both have heat with Best Picture probables Manchester by the Sea and Arrival respectively but performance pictures like Manchester can sometimes suddenly be absent when the director's nominations are read out and critically acclaimed sci-fi pictures can also stumble come nomination morning due to genre biases. They might be in but they might not.  In a year when the buzz hasn't totally settled on a handful of auteurs, Oscar can sometimes surprise with a left field foreign or indie choice but even that seems hard to parse this year since so many different pictures have small passionate devotees but not huge mouthy legions of them. 

Are we overthinking this? Check out the New Best Director and Best Picture chart and report back. 

Wednesday
Nov232016

Best Director Chart Revisions

by Nathaniel R

This morning's update - the Best Director chart. And just as I'd finished those chart updates the Silence trailer arrived so we'll discuss that later today. So much happens all at once.

Speaking of. You don't want to see the way my doorman looks at me whenever I walk into the building - there's always a new stack of packages from the studios to sign for. Today alone there have been 4 deliveries of multiple packages. Why must campaign teams wait until the day before Thanksgiving to send everything? It's overwhelming really. It's the same as the studios waiting until the second half of December to release all movies ever. 

But back to the topic at hand - Best Director Hopefuls. We'll divvy them up into 3 categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...