Movies & TV

Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve, Two of the Greatest Directors of Our Time, Have Only Good Things to Say About Each Other

Nolan lauded Villeneuve on Dune, which he called “compelling at every turn.”

With the sheer quantity of titles out on streaming platforms, it’s easy to forget that movies are more than just “content.” It’s an art form, one that directors are trying to preserve by championing the spaces that give them justice—the cinemas. Two of the loudest voices in support of watching in cinemas (but are not against streaming) are Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve, both of whom are undoubtedly two of the greatest directors and visionaries of our time. 

The mastermind behind The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar, and Dunkirk, Nolan has long been considered a titan in the film industry. His works are legendary, and to young actors like the star of Dune, Timothee Chalamet, his filmography has defined an entire generation. Dune’s director, Denis Villeneuve, is of the same opinion, but whether he agrees or not, the French-Canadian director is already at Nolan’s level. With a vision like no other, Villeneuve has brought audiences the likes of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, but Dune might be his best creation yet. 

Even Nolan agrees. The two recently sat down together for an interview with the Director’s Guild of America, and Nolan and Villeneuve only had good things to say about each other. Nolan lauded Villeneuve on Dune, which he called “compelling at every turn.” 

“It’s one of the most seamless marriages of live-action photography and computer-generated visual effects that I’ve seen,” Nolan said. 

“I think this film is going to introduce a whole new generation of fans to Dune who have never read the book and perhaps will go and read it now. I think it’s an extraordinary piece of work. I’ve had the luxury of seeing it a couple of times now, and each time I watch it I discover new things, new details to the world. The way in which it’s made is absolutely for the big screen. It’s a real pleasure and a real gift to film fans everywhere—and thank you very much for that, Denis.”


Meanwhile, Denis had just as many praises to say about Tenet, which was released in 2020 and was one of the first films to premiere after theaters temporarily closed due to COVID-19. 

“I was blown away by Tenet, I think it’s a masterpiece ... I think it’s a movie that’s an incredible cinematic achievement. I think that it’s a very complex movie, I had so much fun, I saw it several times and each time it was a blast and I think the level of mastery of Christopher Nolan is unmatched ... He is by far one of the best filmmakers working in the world today because people don’t realize the eye-level of his cinematic mastery, it’s crazy."

Of course, the two great directors didn’t spend the entire 30 minutes commending each other. They also discussed the importance of watching movies in theaters, preserving the art of filmmaking, and the complicated process of adapting the world of Dune to the screen. 

To listen to the fascinating conversation, listen to the recording on SoundCloud below.

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Anri Ichimura
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