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He has been making movies for almost twenty years now, and up until his 2011 film “Incendies,” Denis Villeneuve only ever made films in his native country of Canada. So perhaps it’s understandable that it took his first Hollywood production, 2013’s “Prisoners,” for the filmmaker to receive international acclaim. Since then, Villeneuve has been on a roll with last year’s “Enemy” and the upcoming “Sicario,” the latter receiving a wealth of positive buzz when it premiered at Cannes this past May. Villeneuve has recently commenced filming his follow-up to “Sicario,” “Story of Your Life” which boasts a cast that includes Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, and Forest Whitaker. And he's said to be attached to direct the sequel to “Blade Runner.” The man’s simply unstoppable at the moment. Read More: Interview: Denis Villenueve Talks Shooting Toronto For 'Enemy,' Dipping Into the Subconscious & His Next Projects Just in time, »
- Ken Guidry
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 322 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2015. “It’s gratifying to acknowledge the extraordinary range of talent in our industry,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “This year, our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization.” The 2015 invitees are: Actors Elizabeth Banks – “Love & Mercy,” “The Hunger Games” Choi Min-sik– “Lucy,” “Oldboy” Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Imitation Game,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” Martin Freeman – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Hot Fuzz” Heather Graham – “The Hangover,” “Boogie Nights” Tom Hardy – “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Inception” Kevin Hart – “The Wedding Ringer,” “Ride Along »
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Prisoners, Enemy) is on the fast track to being one of the best directors working today, with even Blade Runner 2 on the horizon. His latest film however, Sicario, helped solidify that vaulted stature when it earned raves at Cannes (check out our review here).
Sicario, which means “hitman” in Mexico, stars Emily Blunt as an FBI agent enlisted by Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro and a government task force to fight the war on drugs in across the American border. Here’s the full synopsis:
In Mexico, Sicario means hitman. In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elite government task force official to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past, the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything that she believes in order to survive. »
- Brian Welk
Emily Blunt plays an idealistic FBI agent who is enlisted by an elite government task force official (Josh Brolin) to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Benicio Del Toro, Victor Garber, and Jon Bernthal also star and "Sicario" begins a platform release starting September 18th.
- Garth Franklin
Over the last decade, Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has made a mix of hard-hitting and compelling films, from his sombre take on a Montreal school shooting in Polytechnique to his Oscar nominated 2010 drama Incendies. Denis released two films in 2013 that both starred Jake Gyllenhaal: the experimental and brash Enemy, which provided a surreal and haunting look at a spousal relationship; and Prisoners, a kidnapping drama with Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis, and Melissa Leo joining the fray.
Villeneuve’s latest film may well be his best yet (he certainly thinks it is). Sicario is a richly drawn story about the moral ambivalence at the heart of the war on drugs. Emily Blunt plays Kate Macer, a seasoned FBI agent, who takes on the cartels directly with the assistance of a team led by Matt (Josh Brolin). Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), a mercurial figure with a sordid past, also joins Kate »
- Jason Gorber
One filmmaker on the rise in a big way is Denis Villeneuve, from Quebec, Canada, who just premiered his latest film Sicario to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival (here's our review). He's next set to direct the Blade Runner sequel/reboot/restart with Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, not to mention Roger Deakins as cinematographer. His previous work is also impressive (and worth seeking out): Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy. And if you want to go back even further, you can now watch his 2008 short film Next Floor that mocks the "endless symphony of abundance". It's a wicked commentary on excess that's powerful to watch. Thanks to The Playlist for the tip on this short. Description from Vimeo: During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with cavalier servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. In this absurd and grotesque universe, »
- Alex Billington
It's a good time to be a filmmaker from Quebec these days. With the international successes of the Quebecois directors- Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Prisoners, Sicario and tapped to direct upcoming Blade Runner sequel), Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y., Dallas Buyer's Club, Wild), Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar, The Good Lie), Quebec is once again recognized as a great incubator for cinematic talent. I discovered director/musician Stéphane Lafleur at this year's New Directors/New Films series. His lovely film Tu dors Nicole had me searching for all his previous films. Unlike the above mentioned directors, Lafleur possesses altogether different sensibilities: his droll, absurd humor and portrayal of loneliness are often akin to that of many Scandinavian filmmakers or Urlich Seidl or even early Tsai Ming-Liang. I had a chance to...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Anyone who has seen Denis Villeneuve’s “Enemy” knows that the filmmaker does not always gravitate toward linear storytelling closed off to interpretation and analysis. “Prisoners” is more clear-cut, but Villeneuve does a great job maintaining speculation and intrigue throughout the thriller. Even the incredible “Incendies,” which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film four years ago, is a rollercoaster ride with unpredictable reveals and reversals. Still, none of these films come quite as close to mind-bendingly perplexing as his 2008 short, “Next Floor.” Read More: 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel. “Next Floor”—a virtually dialogue free nine-minutes—takes place entirely around a dining table. A hodgepodge of gluttonous individuals—mostly men, but with a few women—all in dusty clothing, eagerly and rapidly cram as much food into their mouths as possible. The spread is lavish (and sorry, vegetarians, you’ll most likely find it. »
- Zach Hollwedel
With Harrison Ford back as Rick Deckard, Denis Villeneuve in the director's chair, and Ryan Gosling eyeing a key role, the Blade Runner sequel was already in good hands, but now fans have another big reason to get excited, as it was recently announced that cinematographer Roger Deakins joined the film's crew:
Press Release (via The Playlist) -- "Los Angeles, CA, May, 20, 2015 – Twelve-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) on Alcon Entertainment’s sequel to Blade Runner, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-ceo’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
Deakins, who will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22 reteams with Villeneuve on what will be their third feature collaboration, havingpreviously worked together on Alcon’s Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as Villeneuve’s upcoming film Sicario, a drug-trafficking drama starring Emily Blunt, »
- Derek Anderson
Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. Quebecois director Denis Villeneuve is quickly becoming a crucial voice in cinema, crafting human stories of immense power and durability. His one-two-three punch of Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy has been enough to get him noticed in film-savvy circles, but his latest film Sicario may be his best work to date. It's a bleak drug-trade thriller on the surface but deep down it's really a dense character study with comments on the violence in this modern world. It's in the same ballpark as other modern commentaries like Traffic and Zero Dark Thirty but with its own unique flavor. Emily Blunt dominates the film as Kate Macer, an FBI agent with a tough exterior in a male dominated field. When we're first introduced to her she's just discovered a gruesome find tied to a major drug cartel operating on both sides of the U.S.A. »
- Marco Cerritos
You could sort of say we’re on his jock and we wouldn’t argue much. This is because French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has been non-stop killing it in recent years and he’s the kind of filmmaker we love because he uses genre as a Trojan Horse to explore the heart and soul of mankind. He’s a thinking man’s filmmaker and it shows in his work. The searing drama “Incendies” earned him a Foreign Language Academy Award nomination, “Enemy” with Jake Gyllenhaal was a nightmarish existentialist thriller, and “Prisoners” with Gyllenhaal again and Hugh Jackman was a bruising crime procedural. Since then, everyone wants to work with Villeneuve cause they’ve also seen the work and noticed he’s the real deal. Read More: Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel. He’s already bagged the coveted director’s chair for the “Blade Runner” sequel, »
- Edward Davis
Sicario: Bring Out the Popcorn
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Taylor Sheridan
Denis Villeneuve’s narco-thriller Sicario is likely the most broadly accessible film in this year’s competition, a very watchable, schematically Hollywoodian production more at home at the Oscars than at Cannes. It stars, tragically, Emily Blunt as FBI agent Kate Macer and, unsurprisingly, Benicio Del Toro as special drugs advisor Alejandro. Kate is recruited from her hostage crisis unit to a secretive anti-drugs mission at the margins of legality following a gruesome, finely crafted opening sequence in which she leads the bust of a safe house full of rows of executed hostages concealed into the walls. Gradually she clues in as to the nature of the mission – her role is merely procedural, as the presence of an FBI agent is apparently obligatory as a front for Alejandro and rogue operation head Matt (Josh Brolin »
While we know next to nothing about the plot for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, we do know that at the very least, it's going to look gorgeous, as renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins has joined the team. Come inside to learn more.
Blade Runner 2 is moving full steam ahead. Just a couple months ago it was announced Denis Villenueve had been hired on to direct the sequel, with Harrison Ford set to return, and it looks like they're starting to build up the rest of the necessary behind the scenes crew to get production moving. Announced at Cannes, Roger Deakins, the cinematographer behind Prisoners, Skyfall, Fargo, and Many others has been hired on as the Dop for the new movie. Deakins has worked with Villenueve on his last two movies, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
The original Blade Runner is still a visually striking movie, and »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
Oh wow. So cinematographer Roger Deakins has signed on to shoot Denis Villeneuve's "Blade Runner" sequel. I'm paying attention now, folks. Seriously, this whole project has been filed under "whatever" for me for the longest time. But then I have a dirty little secret that I suspect is shared by more than a few who just don't want to get into it: I've never agreed with the legions who think Ridley Scott's original film is an indispensable work of modern art. But…not going to get into it. I've mainly just been snoozing at the prospect of revisiting the material because of your standard grade reboot/sequel-itis. However, when Denis Villeneuve joined up, I got a little excited. This isn't some run-of-the-mill action director sure to lumber his way through the thing. Villeneuve is a pretty intriguing new voice. I didn't love the scripts for "Incendies" or "Prisoners, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Roger Deakins' work on Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" was so good that we dedicated an entire piece to what turned out to be our favorite single shot in 2013. The duo have reteamed on the director's latest procedural "Sicario" (review here), but we've had our fingers crossed they would jump into sci-fi together. And hell yes, it's happening. Deakins has been hired to shoot the untitled "Blade Runner" sequel to be helmed by Villeneuve and to star Harrison Ford and reportedly Ryan Gosling. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have penned the story that takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Shooting kicks off in summer 2016 and now I'm getting pretty excited. Full press release below. ---------- Los Angeles, CA, May, 20, 2015 – Twelve-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) on Alcon »
- Kevin Jagernauth
After the Oscar-nominated Incendies and his habitual auteur films (Enemy, Prisoners), Denis Villeneuve forays into more mainstream cinema with the Michael Mann-esque Sicario, a thriller exploring the escalating war on drugs whose battleground is often the Tex-Mex border. Villeneuve seems relieved that the notorious Cannes critics liked the movie. “Cannes has the reputation of being difficult. We heard 15 minutes after the screening ended that the reactions were very positive.” Benicio Del Toro, winner of the best actor Palme in 2008 for Che, garnered the most applause as his name flashed in the closing credits. It is indeed he and Josh Brolin who carry the film. (One journalist at the press conference following the screening even mistook him for Brolin’s co-star in No Country For Old Men. “I wasn’t in that movie, but thank you, that’s a compliment,” was Del Toro’s response.) Sicario appears to be new territory for Villeneuve. »
- Talia Soghomonian
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