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The Dune director comes in with a hot take.
It would be hard to pick a more visually inspiring director than Denis Villeneuve. I love most of his movies because he actually makes some stunning projects that have to be seen on the big screen to appreciate their scope and scale.
I also think he has his finger on the pulse of what Hollywood needs, and I will always love him for helping the science fiction genre come back into the limelight.
So, I'm willing to give him a bit of a pass for what I can only assume is a bit of a facetious answer when it comes to his thoughts on dialogue in the film.
Villeneuve told Variety, “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. I’m not interested in dialogue at all. Pure image and sound, that is the power of cinema, but it is something not obvious when you watch movies today. Movies have been corrupted by television. In a perfect world, I’d make a compelling movie that doesn’t feel like an experiment but does not have a single word in it either. People would leave the cinema and say, ‘Wait, there was no dialogue?’ But they won’t feel the lack.”
Obviously, as the resident WGA writer on staff here, I have to push back on this idea. Yes, film and TV are visual mediums, but there are a lot of massively important lines of dialogue that help films live forever.
While I think it's important to write visually, I also think the best movies and TV have been a really good balance between what needs to be said (and sticks) versus just extraneous dialogue. But the same goes for visuals as well.
Cinema has power because it can move people. It does that with both words and visuals.
While you can achieve power with one or the other, it doesn't mean either is any less valuable. It's all about your personal voice and style.
Let me know what you think in the comments.