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The A-List: A conversation with
Arrival director Denis Villeneuve

By Iain Blair

Dark and super-intense dramas are the specialty of acclaimed French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villenueve. His 2010 feature film Incendies, a drama about the legacy of civil war in Lebanon for a Montreal immigrant family, earned a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination. Villenueve made his Hollywood directorial debut with Prisoners, a suburban-vigilante drama starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. It too was nominated for an Oscar. He followed that with Enemy, an eerie thriller starring Gyllenhaal as a history lecturer who discovers an unexpected alter ego.  

But it was his explosive 2015 hit Sicario — about an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) whose hunt for justice thrusts her into the lawless US/Mexican border where drugs, terror, illegal immigration and corruption challenge her moral compass — that really got Hollywood’s attention. The film received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Achievement in Cinematography (Roger Deakins) and Best Achievement in Sound Editing (Alan Robert Murray) and paved the way for his latest film, the sci-fi drama Arrival.

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team, led by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers. But this Paramount release is not your usual alien invasion epic.

I spoke with Villenueve, who’s currently in post production on his biggest project to date — the sequel to the cult classic Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling — about making Arrival.

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ILM’s Richard Bluff talks VFX
for Marvel’s Doctor Strange

By Daniel Restuccio

Comic book fans have been waiting for over 30 years for Marvel’s Doctor Strange to come to the big screen, and dare I say it was worth the wait. This is in large part because of the technology now available to create the film’s stunning visual effects.

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Creating and tracking roaches
for Hulu’s 11.22.63

By Randi Altman

Looking for something fun and compelling to watch while your broadcast shows are on winter break? You might want to try Hulu’s original eight-part miniseries 11.22.63, which the streaming channel released last February.

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Missing Pieces hires head of VR/AR/360, adds VR director

Sony Pictures Post adds home theater dub stage
By Mel Lambert

Behind the Title: AlphaDogs colorist Sean Stack

The Famous Grouse gets CG environs for holiday spots
By Randi Altman

Industry vet Tim Claman to lead Avid Audio business 

Republic Editorial launches design/VFX studio

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