“Creativity, I think, is based on risk. Only way to make something good is to flirt with disaster. You must walk on the edge of failure in order to succeed. It is a very dangerous position for me but I feel alive when I do that.” – Denis Villeneuve (Arrival video interview with AP)
Here are some great reviews:
- Arrival review: a soulful sci-fi instant classic – Director Denis Villeneuve successfully merges hard sci-fi and real emotion in one of the best films of the year (“Arrival’s extraordinary success is that it combines its bravura style and grand science-fiction questions with tremendous emotional intelligence and a heart so full, it’s ready to burst. It’s a film that dares us to look ahead, to open ourselves up to vulnerability and sacrifice, and to take chances and engage with the world around us, no matter what dire consequences we fear may be just around the corner. That transcends genre, or even medium. It is simply art, and at a time when so many seem intent on walling off themselves or their countries, it’s exactly what we need.”)
- Thoughtful ‘Arrival’ escapes genre filmmaking orbit ““Arrival” works as mainstream entertainment, but includes hallmarks of the “2001: A Space Odyssey”/“Silent Running” era of artist-driven science fiction. It has Hollywood stars, but makes great effort to strip them of any false glamour. The film is tightly calibrated, but leaves things open to interpretation, for discussion on the ride home from the theater and beyond.”
- The Epic Intimacy of Arrival The alien-contact movie, starring Amy Adams and directed by Denis Villeneuve, is the best film of the year so far (“As awards season gets under way, there are several promising movies visible hovering on the horizon. But for now, the best film of the year, ambitious in conception and extraordinary in execution, has arrived.”)
Here is a trailer and a few specially insightful behind the scenes videos I watched.
DP/30: Arrival, Eric Heisserer (screenwriter)
This is a cool ad about the movie. It is not a trailer but it is very neat.
Dec 6th, 2016 Update: IndieWire, Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast: How Drunk Astrophysicists Inspired ‘Arrival’ Scribe Eric Heisserer to Become a Screenwriter (Episode 14)
Spoiler WARNING starts at 25 minutes mark – Podcast – IndieWire Filmmaker Toolkit – Arrival Screenwriter Eric Heisserer
P.S. Paramount’s ‘Arrival’ Gaffe Ignites Outrage in Hong Kong is a sad story. Without going to a protracted discussion, Glass Heart (玻璃心) is a term used by mainland and Hong Kong Chinese to describe someone easily hurt emotionally by really small stuff (remember that book series?). The poster is one of those things. And after watching the movie, there may be a lesson to learn from all of us.
P.P.S. Here is a cool (unrelated) video by Ted Chiang
Speculative Visions with Ted Chiang (Talk & chat posted by Asian American Writers’ Workshop)
Update: Guardian book review, “Wonder boy – China Miéville revels in Ted Chiang’s high-concept collection, Stories of Your Life”
April 8 2017 Update: Blue Ray extras
The producers used Denis’ movie Incendies to convince Ted the writer that they can make a good film.