After seeing Arrival recently and being struck by the directors masterful use of silence and scenery, I was curious to watch other movies by Denis Villeneuve. I was able to see the 2015 movie Sicario, staring Emily Blunt. The first thing I noticed is Villeneuve’s use of strong female characters without resorting making the characters the ‘damsel in distress’ or objectifying them. His ability to direct actresses into a state of vulnerability without having them appear weak is inspiring.
Like in Arrival, Villeneuve’s approach to the cinematography and use of silence in Sicario is near genius level. He is even able to make the most mundane, transition scenes have impact. For example, shooting soldiers gearing up with night vision equipment in silhouette against the last dregs of a spectacular sunset in the southwest as they descend into night vision & smugglers tunnels. In addition, composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s blending of sound with Vileneuves’s pictures & pauses adds so much to both movies.
I am looking forward to their next project, Blade Runner 2049 scheduled for release in 2017. The combination of their talent along with Philip K. Dick’s book and the script writing of Ridley Scott should produce a spectacular and emotionally riveting film.
Villeneuver is absolutely a director to watch. Hopefully, we should expect many more movies from him, given his young age.