One of the profound stylistic elements of a Denis Villeneuve vehicle is the camerawork. Over his career, Villeneuve has worked with cinematographers Bradford Young, Andre Turpin, and recent Oscar-winner Roger Deakins, to capture grand vistas and explore the vast landscapes and close-quartered rooms of his worlds. What may go unmentioned, however, are the intimate, reflexive close-ups featured throughout his work. Here, fans of the director are given a composite of those silent close-ups.
In this supercut, edited by Jacob T. Swinney via Talkhouse, the close-up is given full attention. The short film juxtaposing close-up after close-up highlights the ponderous Amy Adams, a shocked Hugh Jackman, and bewildered Jack Gyllenhaal through films “Arrival,” “Prisoners,” and “Enemy,” among others. While the close-up is a fairly standard shot, it is not widely considered exceedingly artful; it is rarely considered a brave choice in filmmaking. But with the lingering camera on his actor’s, Villeneuve and the talented Directors of Photography he works with capture every flinch and pore without fault.
Villeneuve is slated to next tackle “Dune,” but his style will likely be a fixture in the sci-fi epic. While fas would likely love to see the director reunite again with “Blade Runner 2049” cinematographer, Roger Deakins, an official announcement has yet to be made. Regardless as to whether it is a large scale production, or an intimate, family-oriented narrative, Villeneuve will likely use his trademark, lingering close-up to build a connection with his audience.
It is the talent of the director’s eye, the actor’s choices, and the chances the director of photography captures that supplant Villeneuve as a stylistic director. Every element aligns, leaving for the audience a feast for the eyes.