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Dune Director Denis Villeneuve Saw Christopher Nolan’s Tenet ‘Several Times,’ Gives Us His Review

The best part of interviewing famous directors is when they prove themselves to be huge fans of OTHER famous directors. Quentin Tarantino will rave about an Italian master that he adores, or Martin Scorsese will explain what makes Steven Spielberg so special. And then there’s the reaction that Dune and Arrival filmmaker Denis Villeneuve gave to CinemaBlend’s official ReelBlend podcast when we asked him about Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. 

We kind of knew that Denis Villeneuve would like Nolan’s most recent puzzle box. The two filmmakers are the loudest proponents for the theatrical experience these days, and Dune’s performance in IMAX theaters to date proves that his audience wants to see his movies on the biggest screen possible. So when ReelBlend asked Villeneuve if he’d seen Tenet, and wanted his take, he told us: 

I was blown away by Tenet. I think it’s a masterpiece. I think that it is a movie that is an incredible cinematic achievement. It’s a very complex movie. I had so much fun. I saw it several times, and each time was a blast. 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! I mean, every time Chris puts a movie on screen, I’m going… of course, I saw Tenet in a theater. You can not see a Nolan movie at home. That makes absolutely no sense. You have to, at first, receive the full impact of another movie in a theater. It’s really fascinating to see him evolving from one more to the other and always pushing the envelope, technically and narratively. And always reinventing himself. For me, it’s deeply inspiring to see that master at work. I deeply loved Tenet.

Tenet feels like one of those movies that too many people slept on, and years from now, we’ll wake up to the influence that it will have on filmmakers to come. At the time of the movie’s release, so much of the narrative was driven by Chris Nolan trying to convince people to see a movie on the big screen during a pandemic. That overshadowed the actual movie, which is a truly masterful twist and turn of intelligent storytelling. Here our full interview with Denis Villeneuve on ReelBlend here:

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And you can begin enjoying Denis Villeneuve’s own masterpiece, Dune, now that it is available in theaters and on HBO Max. If anyone has Chris Nolan’s email address, hit me up. I want to get his review of Dune, and report back to y’all as soon as possible.

Sean O'Connell

Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.