Denis Villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve
  • Born: October 3, 1967
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Profession: Film Director, Screenwriter

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Denis Villeneuve OC is a French Canadian film director and writer. He is a four-time recipient of the Canadian Screen Award (formerly Genie Award) for Best Direction, for Maelström in 2001, Polytechnique in 2009, Incendies in 2011, and Enemy in 2014. The first three of these films also won the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Motion Picture.

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As a director, you're a bit of a dictator. But I feel that you're a better director if you're open to other people's ideas. It means that it's tougher: you have to be in a choosing process; you have to put the ego aside. As long as everybody's aiming in the same direction... I'm open to my main partners in the film crew.
Cinema is an art form that is designed to go across borders. And as a filmmaker, the only way I can direct a movie is when I feel close to my culture. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
'Close Encounters of the Third Kind.' Big, big, big smash for me. My birth of the love of cinema was born with 'Close Encounters' and '2001.' Those sci-fi movies I saw when I was a little kid. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I made 'Enemy' to prep myself for 'Prisoners.' I had the need to direct something smaller in English before going to Hollywood. That's the way I sold it to Warner because they asked me if I was berserk to make a movie right before.
I must say, I am a 10,000-times better director because I am in therapy. I'm serious. I can understand more the actors. I can manipulate them more easily.
I must say, to my great surprise and pleasure, I deeply loved making movies in the United States because of all the opportunities it gave me to work with people that I admire as artists. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I never went to school for directing. I studied theater with a director. I followed plays to see how a director would talk to the actors. I tried to make my own school.
I think a good director is a good listener.
I think I'm attracted to subjects that I'm afraid of. It's a way to approach things I am afraid of, things that bring fear in my heart, and try to understand them, try to deal with them. It's like demons. I try to approach it and understand it... I'm just visiting fears.
I was at the premiere of 'Prisoners,' and I heard two thousand people scream at the same time. I turned to my wife and said, 'I love cinema!' It's the sharing of emotions together, and it's collective. It's one of the last communions we have. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I was 'impressed' by Hugh Jackman for five seconds the first time I met him, but as soon as he opened his mouth and shook my hand, I felt comfortable. He made me feel like I was one of his friends. Time
I'd love to be able to do a comedy like 'Dr. Strangelove.' I'm not a very serious person. Really, I'm very silly. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
If you don't deal with your shadows, you are condemned to repeat the same mistake over and over, as a human being or as a society. Society
I'm learning more and more to share creativity with the crew and actors. A film crew is more powerful if you listen to them, but it does make my job more tough because I have to listen. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
In Canada, for boys, your identity is built on hockey. It's your social position; it's everything. And I was the worst hockey player of Canada.
My home is Montreal. I will stay in Montreal and continue to make movies in Montreal. But it's also very healthy for Canadian filmmakers to work outside the country. You learn so much. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
My movies are very often violent and dark, but there's a spectrum of light, and that light is coming from the women. Women ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
On a film crew, you can see very quickly that some people who are working with you are stronger than you. Then you have to have the humility to listen to them. And because very often they have better ideas than yours, it can be tough on the evil ego. But it makes a better film.
Sometimes you have compulsions that you can't control coming from the subconscious... they are the dictator inside ourselves.
The problem in cinema is that you can never predict what will happen.
The reception for 'Enemy?' I don't care. No matter what other people think, it was important for me. I will stand for that movie, even if I stand alone.
The truth is, when I started to make films, I was terrified. I had a huge difference in what I was writing in the screenplay and what was on the screen after. Sometimes there was a big gap. Now, the more I have experienced, the more I do movies, the more I feel that the dream is closer to the screen. It's coming with experience. Truth ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Very early on, I was writing stories, and I was amazed at Spielberg's movies when I was young. Coming from the countryside, I was so impressed with the way he was able to tell stories and the way he was able to deal with le merveilleux - the wonders. Very quickly, he became for me a massive hero, and he introduced me to the world of a director. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
When I think of the 1980s, the only color that comes to mind is a brown, yellowish color. I guess it's coming from my life experience, and it's melancholia and sadness and a bit of joy. Life
When I was a kid, I was always going to bed creating a story, and that was the birth of filmmaking for me. I would like going to the dream-state by telling the story to someone else in my mind. That was my imaginary friend; it was an imaginary audience listening to my story.
When there's no technical problems, if you did the right casting, and the scene is well written, the actor will give you a strong performance with his intuition right from the start.