4 items from 2017
Few filmmakers of the 21st century have risen to prominence and prestige with the forcefulness of “Blade Runner 2049” director Denis Villeneuve, whose seemingly unstoppable career has been bolstered by a steady balance of critical respect and commercial success. In fact, Christopher Nolan is the only other person who comes to mind, and the similarities between the two of them are hard to ignore.
For one thing, these men are both men, and that tends to be a more crucial detail than it should. For another, they’re also genuine auteurs, each committed to a clinical brand of Cinema (with a capital “C”) that’s muscular and intellectual in equal measure. Nolan is a bit more rigidly defined by his own rubric, but Villeneuve shares his gift for sublimating big ideas into even bigger spectacles, and has likewise honed his skills by fluidly moving between massive blockbusters and idiosyncratic passion projects. »
- David Ehrlich
April event celebrates 150th anniversary of Canada.
A celebration of Canadian cinema will take place in Los Angeles from April 18-23 with a variety of screenings at The Cinefamily and The Aero.
The Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles will celebrate Canadian Film Day 150 (Ncfd 150), presented by Reel Canada, with a free marathon of films to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial.
The event will run on April 18 and 19 at The Cinemafamily theatre in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles screenings will kick-off on April 18 with Polytechnique from Denis Villeneuve and continue with The Saddest Music In The World, Meatballs, Strange Brew, and Villeneuve’s Incendies, followed by a Q&A with the director.
Canada Now: Best New Films 2017, presented by Telefilm Canada, will feature eight new Canadian films from the festival circuit and will screen from April 20–23 at the Aero theatre in Santa Monica, with several post-screening discussions.
When we last saw Denis Villeneuve, with 2015's Sicario, Anthony Lane began his review for The New Yorker with a pair of blunt questions: "What does Denis Villeneuve do for fun? Does he know what fun is?" Lane's tone was more bemused than derisive, but he has a point: Villeneuve's cinematic world is grim, full of sickly color tints, sterile or impersonal settings, ominous silences broken by rattling gunfire, a pervasive atmosphere of doom, and protagonists who comport themselves like wide-eyed lambs on their way to the slaughter. After all, his are films where a lonely Emily Blunt can't meet a man at a bar and a bored Jake Gyllenhaal can't rent a movie without both turning into paranoid nightmares. "Sometimes it's best not to know," a weary witness tells the heroine of Villeneuve's Incendies (2010), a time-shifting French-Canadian mystery that picked up an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Film and »
Denis Villeneuve has been slowly rising the ranks in Hollywood with acclaimed and profitable dramas like “Prisoners,” “Sicario” and this year’s eight-time Oscar nominee “Arrival,” for which he’s earned his first nomination for Best Director, but he’s about to become an even bigger household. On October 6, he’s bringing Ridley Scott’s iconic science-fiction drama “Blade Runner” back to the big screen for a sequel starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, and he recently was confirmed to be taking the reigns on Legendary Pictures’ “Dune” reboot. If we had to name a master of science-fiction right now, it would definitely be Denis Villeneuve.
The director recently joined Variety’s Playback Podcast, hosted by Awards Editor Kristopher Tapley, to discuss the making of “Arrival,” but the duo couldn’t help but get into Villeneuve’s exciting cinematic future. »
- Zack Sharf
4 items from 2017
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