||It has been suggested that Arthur series (Besson) be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2012.|
Besson at Cannes, 2000
18 March 1959 |
|Occupation||Producer, director, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Anne Parillaud (div.)
Maïwenn Le Besco (1992–1997)
Milla Jovovich (1997–99)
Virginie Silla (2004–present)
Luc Besson (French pronunciation: [lyk bɛsɔ̃]; born 18 March 1959) is a French film director, writer, and producer. He is the creator of EuropaCorp film company. He has been involved with more than 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.
Besson was born in Paris, to parents who both worked as Club Med scuba-diving instructors. This had an influence on his childhood, as Besson planned on becoming a marine biologist. He spent much of his youth traveling with his parents to tourist resorts in Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece. The family returned to France when Besson was 10. His parents promptly divorced and each re-married other people. "Here there is two families, and I am the only bad souvenir of something that doesn't work," he said in the International Herald Tribune. "And if I disappear, then everything is perfect. The rage to exist comes from here. I have to do something! Otherwise I am going to die."
At the age of 17, Besson had a diving accident that left him unable to dive.
- "I was 17 and I wondered what I was going to do. ... So I took a piece of paper and on the left I put everything I could do, or had skills for, and all the things I couldn't do. The first line was shorter and I could see that I loved writing, I loved images, I was taking a lot of pictures. So I thought maybe movies would be good. But I thought that to really know I should go to a set. And a friend of mine knew a guy whose brother was a third assistant on a short film. It's true," he said in a 2000 interview with The Guardian.
- "So, I said: 'OK, let's go on the set.' So I went on the set...The day after I went back to see my mum and told her that I was going to make films and stop school and 'bye. And I did it! Very soon after I made a short film and it was very, very bad. I wanted to prove that I could do something, so I made a short film. That was in fact my main concern, to be able to show that I could do one."
Out of boredom, he started writing stories, including the backdrop to what later became one of his most popular movies, The Fifth Element. Besson directed and co-wrote the screenplay of this science fiction thriller with the screenwriter, Robert Mark Kamen. The film is inspired by the French comic books Besson read as a teenager. He also reportedly worked on the first drafts of Le Grand Bleu while still in his teens.
At 18, Besson returned to his birthplace of Paris. There he took odd jobs in film to get a feel for the industry. He worked as an assistant to directors including Claude Faraldo and Patrick Grandperret. Besson also directed three short films, a commissioned documentary, and several commercials.
After this, he moved to the United States for three years, but returned to form his own production company which he called "Les Films du Loup". The name was later changed to "Les Films du Dauphin". In the early 1980s, Besson met Éric Serra and asked him to compose the score for his first short film, L'Avant dernier.
In recent years, he has written and produced numerous action movies, including the Taxi and The Transporter series, and the Jet Li films Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed/Danny the Dog. Besson was also in charge of the promotional movie for the Paris bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Luc had been nominated for Best Director and Best Picture César Awards for his films Léon: The Professional and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, but won Best Director and Best French Director for his film The Fifth Element.
Cinéma du look
Critics cite Besson as a pivotal figure in the Cinéma du look movement, a specific, highly visual style produced from the 1980s into the early 1990s. Subway, The Big Blue and Nikita are all considered to be of this stylistic school. The term was coined in a 1989 essay, in La Revue du Cinema n° 449, by a critic named Raphaël Bassan. A partisan of the experimental cinema and friend of the "nouvelle vague" directors, Bassan enrolled Besson with two other directors who shared "le look." These directors were said to favor style over substance, spectacle over narrative.
Most of the filmmakers in the category, including Besson, squirmed uncomfortably at being labeled, particularly in light of their forebears: France's New Wave. "Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut were rebelling against existing cultural values and used cinema as a means of expression simply because it was the most avant-garde medium at the time," said Besson in The New York Times. "Today, the revolution is occurring entirely within the industry and is led by people who want to change the look of movies by making them better, more convincing and pleasurable to watch.
"Because it's becoming increasingly difficult to break into this field, we have developed a psychological armor and are ready to do anything in order to work", he added in this same interview. "I think our ardor alone is going to shake the pillars of the moviemaking establishment."
Many of Besson's films have achieved popular, if not critical, success. One such release was Le Grand Bleu. "When the film had its premiere on opening night at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, it was mercilessly drubbed, but no matter; it was a smash," observed the International Herald Tribune in a 2007 profile of Besson. "Embraced by young people who kept returning to see it again, the movie sold 10 million tickets and quickly became what the French call a film générationnel, a defining moment in the culture."
Besson created the Arthur series, which comprises Arthur and the Minimoys, Arthur and the Forbidden City, Arthur and the Vengeance of Maltazard and Arthur and the War of the Two Worlds. Besson directed Arthur and the Invisibles, an adaptation of the first two books of the collection. A film with live action and animation, it was released in the UK and the US and starred Freddie Highmore, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Mia Farrow, Robert De Niro and David Bowie.
Besson has been criticized as the most Hollywood of French filmmakers. His "slick, commercial" action movies have been panned as "so interchangeable—drugs, sleaze, chuckling supervillainy, and Hong Kong-style effects—that each new project probably starts with white-out on the title page."
American film critic Armond White has praised Besson, who he claims is one of the best film producers, for refining and revolutionizing action film, also stating that Besson dramatizes the struggle of his characters "as a conscientious resistance to human degradation".
Besson was married to Anne Parillaud, who starred in Nikita (1990), a film he wrote and directed. They have one daughter who was born in 1987. The director began dating Maïwenn Le Besco in 1991, when she was just 15 at the time. The two began a relationship and were married in late 1992 when Le Besco was pregnant with their daughter, Shanna, who was born on 3 January 1993. Le Besco would later claim that their relationship was the inspiration for Léon (1994).
Among Besson's awards are the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film Critics Prize, Fantasporto Audience Jury Award-Special Mention, Best Director, and Best Film, for Le Dernier Combat in 1983; The Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Silver Ribbon-Best Director-Foreign Film, for La Femme Nikita, 1990; the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film, Nil by Mouth, 1997; and the Best Director Cesar Award, for The Fifth Element, 1997.
- Pull Marine: Isabelle Adjani (1983)
- Mon Légionnaire: Serge Gainsbourg (1988)
- Que mon cœur lâche: Mylène Farmer (1992)
- Love Profusion: Madonna (2003)
- L'impasse: Kery James
- Luc Besson on 'Arthur And The Invisibles' – CANOE
- "Luc Besson", Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008.
- Luc Besson: The most Hollywood of French filmmakers. International Herald Tribune
- Hayward, Susan (1998). Luc Besson. Manchester: Manchester university press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7190-5076-3. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- Luc Besson interviewed by Richard Jobson The Guardian
- Interviews with European Film Directors – Luc Besson EuroScreenwriters
- "Luc Besson." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 2: Directors, 4th ed. St. James Press, 2000.
- "Biography for Luc Besson". IMDb. Retrieved 5 March 2005.
- Elley, Derek. "Pop pic auteur", Variety, 23 June 1997 v. 367 n. 8 pp. 44–45.
- "Biography for Éric Serra". IMDb. Retrieved 5 March 2005.
- Translate in English: The French neo-baroques directors : Beineix, Besson, Carax from Diva to le Grand Bleu (pp. 11–23), in The Films of Luc Besson: Master of Spectacle (Under the direction of Susan Hayward and Phil Powrie) Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-7190-7028-7
- Austin, Guy (1999) Contemporary French Cinema: An Introduction, Manchester University Press, pp. 119–120, 126–128. ISBN 0-7190-4611-4
- Tremblay, Anne (21 July 1985) "France Breeds a New Crop of Auteurs", The New York Times.
- Sobel, Ian (9 June 2011) ‘Looper’, ‘Anonymous’, And ‘Lockout’ Do The Release Date Shuffle,'. Screenjunkies.com.
- Luc Besson: The most Hollywood of French filmmakers. International Herald Tribune
- Tobias, Scott (20 May 2007). "Le Cinéma du Blockbuster" The New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Tobias, Scott (5 May 2006). "District B13" at The Onion. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- White, Armond (28 January 2009). "We Need New Heroes: Taken" at New York Press. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
- Leon: The Professional. sbs.com.au
- Shanna Besson. Sbs.com.au (15 August 2012). Retrieved on 20 September 2013.
- Maïwenn’S “Polisse”. Anthemmagazine.com (5 May 2012). Retrieved on 20 September 2013.
- Besson Becomes A Father For The Fifth Time, SFGate, 29 September 2005.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Luc Besson.|
- Luc Besson at the Internet Movie Database
- Luc Besson at AllRovi
- Luc Besson Official Homepage at Luc-Besson.com
- Luc Besson Interview, Angel-A
- JewReview.net video interview with Luc Besson and Rie Rasmussen about Angel-A
- In-depth interview with Luc Besson
|Awards and achievements|
|César Award for Best Director
for The Fifth Element
for Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train