Denis Villeneuve lists his 17 favourite films of all time
(Credit: ZUMA Press / Alamy)

Director Denis Villeneuve lists his 17 favourite films

Plagued by the constant fear of contracting the deadly virus, cinephiles and film buffs have had a hard time staying quarantined at home. To channel their love for cinema, they have been compelled to resort to the popular online streaming platforms and the like. To prevent fellow film buffs from running out of ideas, we have compiled a list containing recommendations from a critically-acclaimed French-Canadian director, Denis Villeneuve, well-known for his brilliant films such as Incendies, Polytechnique, Next Floor, Maelstrom, Prisoners, Enemy, Blade Runner 2049 and more. 

Four-time recipient of Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction, Villeneuve is now a part of the Cannes jury and, according to him, it is “almost an egotistical opportunity” he has been provided with to quench his cinephilic thirst. Inspired by the works of Steven Spielberg, Francois Truffaut, Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman, Villeneuve considers himself to be trained and influenced by them. That said, Villeneuve does not believe in judging films, he wants “to champion them instead”.

Although Villeneuve began making films, drawing heavy inspiration from the French New Wave, he quickly realised that science fiction was the genre where there was a limitless potential for exploration and story-telling. Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to be his favourite film as well as a consistent source of inspiration for him; after watching the film, he had received his first “cinematic shock”.

Villeneuve has been quoted saying that sci-fi as a genre is appealing to him as there is an endless opportunity to “tackle difficult subjects such as religion, or other aspects of the society that are off-limits, with a great deal of freedom and distance.”

His next film is the third sci-fi film in his bag. The much delayed 2021 release of Dune is based on Frank Herbert’s novel of the same name and has stirred a massive reaction with a remarkable ensemble cast including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jason Momoa, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Stellan Skarsgård, David Dastmalchian, among others. 

Until the film is finally released, however, pass the time by watching a series of cinematic pictures that inspired the director. Collected by Fav Favorites, see the full list below.

Denis Villeneuve’s Favourite Films: 

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey– Stanley Kubrick, 1968
  2. No Country For Old Men– Ethan Coen, 2007
  3. Inception– Christopher Nolan, 2010
  4. There Will Be Blood- Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007
  5. Children of Men- Alfonso Cuaron, 2006
  6. Amores Perros- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 2000
  7. Under the Skin- Jonathan Glazer, 2014
  8. Dogville- Lars von Trier, 2003
  9. A Prophet (Un prophète)- Jacques Audiard, 2009
  10. Dogtooth- Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009
  11. Dunkirk- Christopher Nolan, 2017
  12. The Square- Ruben Ostlund, 2017 
  13. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri- Marin McDonagh, 2017
  14. Mother!– Darren Aronofsky, 2017
  15. Downsizing– Alexander Payne, 2017
  16. The Beguiled– Sofia Coppola, 2017
  17. A Star Is Born– Bradley Cooper, 2018
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