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Denis Villeneuve: “Frankly, I hate dialogue. Dialogue is for theatre and television. I don’t remember movies because of a good line, I remember movies because of a strong image. … Movies have been corrupted by television.”

Discussion  6 comments

Damien Newman

Interesting question of how do you remember movies. I definitely like movies for the way they make me feel but, 'Yipee-ki-yay [$#%]', 'ET phone home', 'Why did it have to be snakes', 'I think we're going to need a bigger boat', 'I'm not hung up on this completion thing', 'coffee is for closers' ... and I could go on, and on.

Ok, I will: two from one of my favourite films perhaps before TV corrupted 'movies': 'That wasn't very sporting, using real bullets.' and it's lenghty but: 'Now you listen to me, I'm an advertising man, not a red herring. I've got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders that depend upon me, and I don't intend to disappoint them all by getting myself "slightly" killed.'

So, I think possibly Villeneuve has a very strong visual memory and less for words?

Andrew Lilja

He's a director, not a writer, so it makes sense to me that he thinks in terms of image and sound more than dialogue. That said, I think very little would happen in most movies if nobody spoke. The core of just about any store is a conflict, and it's tough to express that without using words to do it.

Wayne Bremser

I with him. The great line or dialogue exchanges punctuate great movies, but don't make those movies. The Soderbergh b/w silent version of "Raiders" is a great example of this. Even with indie and European movies that are "just people talking" there's cinematography and acting, emotional connections made beyond the words. I could watch Wong Kar Wai without subtitles, not knowing any dialogue and it would still be great. I'd love to see a cut of "Oppenheimer" that focused on the cinematography and had an ambient score by Eno or someone.

Damien Newman

There's something really interesting about Spielberg movies in that they are blocked and staged so well that you really can watch them without hearing the dialogue. Raiders is a very good example of that.

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Ken Prager

Quentin Tarantino calling on Line 1...


I came here to say that Quentin Tarantino would like to have a word, but you beat me to it.

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