A visual essay with attention to Denis Villeneuve’s use of the close-up. Cut by Talkhouse.
Denis Villeneuve may be one of the most visually driven filmmakers working today. His films are often associated with grand vistas, striking wide shots, and haunting silhouettes. However, despite how memorable these shots may be, Villeneuve’s secret stylistic weapon is his use of the simple close-up.
Traditionally, most close-ups are used during dialogue with shot-reverse-shot editing. But Villeneuve employs the close-ups during moments of silence, letting his camera linger on speechlessness. He forces us to endure the devastation, the shock, the awe. Whether a character simply cannot come to terms with what was just said to them, or maybe they just encountered a giant tarantula, Villeneuve captures the silence at close range, and we feel every second of it.