Quotes by Denis Villeneuve

I think a good director is a good listener.
- Denis Villeneuve
I like the idea that cinema is a spectacle.
- Denis Villeneuve
In contradiction and paradox, you can find truth.
- Denis Villeneuve
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Making poetry with a camera - that's the essence of what I do.
- Denis Villeneuve
The problem in cinema is that you can never predict what will happen.
- Denis Villeneuve
I always thought, like everyone, that Hollywood was a superhero factory.
- Denis Villeneuve
When I use violence in a movie, it's just to express the power, the impact of it.
- Denis Villeneuve
I always have a strange feeling that projects choose you. It's always mysterious.
- Denis Villeneuve
When you do casting in Hollywood, it's always the same question: 'Who is available?'
- Denis Villeneuve
I've always been in love with language. My favorite book is a dictionary. I have always loved words.
- Denis Villeneuve
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It's not about choosing a specific genre; that's not how I go about deciding what movies to make.
- Denis Villeneuve
The truth is, I'm someone coming from a spoiled society - the worst thing we deal with in Canada is winter.
- Denis Villeneuve
From 'Polytechnique,' I started to get scripts and after 'Incendies,' of course, it exploded.
- Denis Villeneuve
I'm a very slow screenwriter. It takes time for me to write a screenplay. Also, I feel it's not my strength.
- Denis Villeneuve
My movies are very often violent and dark, but there's a spectrum of light, and that light is coming from the women.
- Denis Villeneuve
Film is pop art. It's not whether it's auteur cinema or not; that's a false distinction. Cinema is cinema.
- Denis Villeneuve
I was a sci-fi addict when I was a kid and a teenager. Novels, graphic novels, movies, it was my way to deal with reality.
- Denis Villeneuve
I was raised with James Bond. I love James Bond movies. I would love to do a James Bond movie one day. Action is very cinematic.
- Denis Villeneuve
Sometimes you have compulsions that you can't control coming from the subconscious... they are the dictator inside ourselves.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
Since I began making movies, I've always looked for screenwriters instead of going through the long and painful process of writing.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
I'm not someone that loves dialogue - I am someone that loves movement. Action, if it's well done, can be very poetic and meaningful.
- Denis Villeneuve
I think that the world is very complex. I think that the movie is a good way to ask questions. To give answers, you would write a lot of books.
- Denis Villeneuve
A longstanding dream of mine is to adapt 'Dune,' but it's a long process to get the rights, and I don't think I will succeed.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
I had a lot of respect for Jeremy Renner as an actor before I worked with him, because I was very impressed with what he did in 'The Hurt Locker.'
- Denis Villeneuve
The beauty of Toronto is that it has not been shot a lot in movies, for itself at least. I mean, most of the time, Toronto is shot to portray something else.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
I have joy. Canadians have the reputation of making dark movies because we are in this society where we have the space to explore darkness. That's the way I see it.
- Denis Villeneuve
I've been dreaming to do sci-fi since I was 10 years old, and I said 'no' to a lot of sequels - I couldn't say 'no' to 'Blade Runner.'
- Denis Villeneuve
The thing is that when you are a director, you need to be involved in a lot of different fields. You must be a psychologist, an architecture expert; you must be a choreographer.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
'Arrival' talks very little about language and how to precisely dissect a foreign language. It's more a film on intuition and communication by intuition, the language of intuition.
- Denis Villeneuve
I'm among the hardcore fans of 'Blade Runner.' 'Blade Runner' is one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a movie that is linked with my love and passion for cinema.
- Denis Villeneuve
I think they built Hollywood on the West Coast because they were always dreaming of a New World. When they arrived here, the only way to keep dreaming was to make movies. Film was the fourth dimension.
- Denis Villeneuve
Cannes is the oldest film festival in the world, and I've long dreamed of having one of my films there in competition. It's a dream that lay dormant for a long time; I stopped believing in it.
- Denis Villeneuve
Each movie I make has its own heroes, and the two heroes for me in 'Arrival' are Amy Adams and Joe Walker, the editor. We worked very, very hard, and it was, by far, the longest editing process.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
I didn't think I'd do movies in Los Angeles. I never thought it would happen. In fact, it was not a fantasy. For me, I said, 'If ever I go there, they will ask me to do 'Legally Blonde 5.'
- Denis Villeneuve
'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.
- Denis Villeneuve
If I wanted to have total control and be a dictator, I would do ice sculpture in my basement. If I want to make a movie, I'm going to work with 500 people, and I will have to work with their strength and their weakness.
- Denis Villeneuve
I would be trying to play hockey with my friends, but most of the time, the coach put me on the bench. Because I was too dreamy - I was dreaming all of the time. I was super bad on the ice because I was just thinking about something else.
- Denis Villeneuve
When I work in English, I'd say I don't see a big difference in my rapport with my team or the actors. When I work in English or French, the music of the language is different, but beyond that music, in the depths, it's the same.
- Denis Villeneuve
'Sicario' is about how the Western world reacts toward problems outside of its borders. Should we become monsters in order to fight the monsters? It's not about the cartels. The movie could have been set in Africa or the Middle East.
- Denis Villeneuve
In Quebec, as women were getting more power, there were the men who agreed with that and the men who were afraid. I think most men are willing to share power with women, but there's fear. Every time you change something, there's a friction.
- Denis Villeneuve
I was saying to myself that I would love to try it once, just one time, to know what it's like to make a movie in Hollywood. I was so curious because most of my favorite directors were there. There's a history; there's a way of working.
- Denis Villeneuve
In a way, the truth is that I was dreaming to do a movie in the United States just because, as a filmmaker, I always loved the idea of trying to make movies in a different culture, in a different way. It's always interesting to make a movie abroad.
- Denis Villeneuve
For me, masculinity is about control, and femininity is more of an embrace, the art of listening. It's very inspiring to explore the shadows of masculinity and femininity, and the tensions between both, and the place of women in the world right now.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
The thing I realized about final cut is it's the power of the best cut. I didn't have final cut on 'Prisoners,' but what you saw is the best cut. 'Sicario' is a directors' cut. 'Arrival' is a directors' cut.
- Denis Villeneuve
The idea, as a director, is to be able to bring everybody on board and to inspire and give energy to everybody and to explain specific color, specific ambience. I need to be very precise, but I think I'm a better director when I'm more a channeler than a dictator.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
I feel that one of the fields that I need to learn a lot is screenwriting. I used to write my own screenplays, but it's just that I remember that at that time, I was saying to myself, 'I wish one day I will meet a screenwriter that will help me because I feel that I need to learn.'
- Denis Villeneuve
I love, in movies, when you feel and you understand the past of the character without it being said or having a flashback or something that explains. I think, in 'Prisoners,' we need to understand that Loki's character's past was not first class. He was not the first in his class.
- Denis Villeneuve
I remember when I read the screenplay for 'Sicario,' I fell in love with it, but at the same time, I went, 'Oh no, not again.' I mean, I would love to fall in love with something that is more light, like a rom-com or a comedy. I would love to. Because it's very demanding to go to dark places like this.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
I feel, since 2001, this huge need for Americans to have superheroes on the screen. This idea that a super-being will protect you. That this being can go above the law but, at the end of the day, would be a good force and defeat the evil. This idea that this half-god exists. This need in the subconscious of America to find these gods.
- Denis Villeneuve
I started in documentaries. I started alone with a camera. Alone. Totally alone. Shooting, editing short documentaries for a French-Canadian part of CBC. So to deal with the camera alone, to approach reality alone, meant so much. I made a few dozen small documentaries, and that was the birth of a way to approach reality with a camera.
- Denis Villeneuve
I'm someone who thinks that the world would be a better place if there was a big middle class. I mean, middle class is peace. In a perfect world, everybody would have enough to eat and we'd be living in security. It's obvious. I'm very happy to pay my taxes and all that. I would say I'm more of a Social Democrat.
- Denis Villeneuve
Repetition is hell. How can we get out of those cycles of violence? How come we are still today talking about peace in Israel? How come we're not able to find a solution yet? Something that will bring peace in this part of the world? It's the same in a lot of places in the world right now. How come we are not able to find peace?
- Denis Villeneuve
'2001: A Space Odyssey' is a movie that really impressed me as a teenager. And also 'Blade Runner.' And 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' is also one of my favorites. I'm always looking for sci-fi material, and it's difficult to find original and strong material that's not just about weaponry.
- Denis Villeneuve
I'm coming from a small town in Quebec where, at that time, there was no Internet, and the way to be in contact with movies were those American fan magazines like 'Fantastic Films' and 'Starlog,' and I still remember the shock, the impact of seeing the first frames, the first pictures coming out of 'Blade Runner.'
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
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.
- Denis Villeneuve
I'm very sensitive about the fact that there's not a lot of good work for women in cinema that also deals with strong characters. But 'strong character' doesn't mean 'masculine character' - but something that finds the strength in femininity and the beauty in femininity. And something that says you can find femininity in men in some way.
- Denis Villeneuve

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