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Happy Birthday Luc Besson!

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This fast-moving sci-fi techno fantasy B movie reminds us of just what a shock to the system Luc Besson was on his arrival in the Eighties:  a pioneer of what was christened the Cinema du look, Le Dernier Combat followed by Subway (left me a bout de souffle!) announced a major talent. I travelled the furthest I ever had for a movie –  from Manchester to London and back in one day just to see The Big Blue (it was only playing in one English cinema), which was a glorious tribute to his scuba diving parents and introduced Jean-Marc Barr properly to the world: years later I had the pleasure of interviewing him and he was quite as charming as you’d expect. Nikita and Leon were major transatlantic hits and Besson’s producing hands were now across several films, birthing a whole new international industry that now centres at the Cite du Cinema in Saint-Denis. My favourite of his recent directed films is The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (what The Adventures of Tintin should have looked like, selon moi!). Here however it’s Scarlett Johansson as the inadvertent drug mule who absorbs a nootropic drug and becomes superhuman. One can only wish that such were possible:  the science may be questionable but it’s a delirious ride in the comic book style for which Besson is now famous. A sequel has just been announced. There’s a gorgeous cinema in Montmartre that was refurbished especially for Besson in the Nineties and the blue starry ceiling reminds us what a dreamer this man is. I have nothing in common with him but my height and birth date (some years apart…) Joyeux anniversaire, M. Besson (moi aussi.)

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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