By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d'Amérique
Hollywood has always been a welcoming land for directors from all over the world. Now it seems that it’s time for the Québécois directors to reign.
My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends, I’m back. How was your summer? Did you take some time off? If you’re an expat, were you able to go back home for a few weeks even if traveling wasn’t the easiest thing to do this summer?
One of us probably didn’t have any time for a vacation this summer, no trip back to Quebec to see the family, because Denis Villeneuve was kind of busy, putting the last touches on the biggest American film of the year: Dune.
In the first episode back of Rendez-Vous D’Amérique, we have a long interview with Denis, and he explains how important this movie was to him.
And Dune is not just a movie. It’s a big movie, a huge movie, a gigantic movie. You’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about when you watch Rendez-Vous D’Amérique, even more so when you see Dune, on a big screen, the biggest you can find. It’s arriving in American theaters on October 22nd.
It’s probably the biggest movie ever directed by a French-speaking artist. I’m not 100% on this, so don’t quote me, but I’m pretty sure…
Hollywood has always been a welcoming land for directors from all over the world. The major studios have no problem with this. They only have on principle: you’re more than welcome, as long as your films are making money. It’s a bit cynical but hey, this is America after all…
And it comes in waves. For a while, they liked Nordic directors, then came the Mexican directors, and the French had their time too. Now it seems that it’s time for the Québécois.
Jean-Marc Vallée reigns with big TV shows like Big Little Lies or Sharp Objects, Xavier Dolan is a favorite of American cinephiles and, of course, Denis Villeneuve. With Sicario, Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, and now Dune, he is the master of smart, delicate, and subtle blockbusters.
You could ask me if all these movies have something from the Quebec culture that their creators grew up. The answer is yes and no.
No, because they are huge blockbusters that deliver the spectacle that American audiences expect. Otherwise, the studios would never have signed off on them.
Yes, because they’re not at all like any other blockbusters. These directors grew up in Quebec with the mix of the French and English cultures they have over there, with an openness to every culture, and with all the particularities of their own cultural references, and it shows in their work…
In my interview, Denis Villeneuve says that he was fascinated by the universe of Dune that was created by its author, Frank Herbert, because it is so rich, so beautiful, and so subtle, everything that Villeneuve’s movie is. I’m pretty sure that he has managed to succeed because he is not like any other director in Hollywood and because he’s also from Quebec.
To learn more about French filmmakers in America, tune in to Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA. Click here for more information.
Exploring cultural diversity through film, art, and so much more, Rendez-vous d'Amérique invites you on a journey to discover Francophone culture in America. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face on the red carpet. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE USA and never miss an episode!