Long sidelined from film sets, director Luc Besson returns with his new film, Dogman, which he is presenting at the 2023 Deauville American Film Festival after competing at the 80th Venice Film Festival. The filmmaker will also hold a masterclass in Deauville. On this occasion, a look back at the director’s five greatest films that have changed French cinema.
1. The Fifth Element (1997)
In 1977, Luc Besson stormed the screens with his sci-fi masterpiece “The fifth Element“. This film, starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich And Gary Oldman, captured viewers with its futuristic world, stunning visual effects, and unique sense of style. “The fifth Element” remains an undisputed reference of the genre.
2. The Big Blue (1988)
“The vastness of the oceans, the infinity of the depths.” This film, inspired by the true story of divers Jacques Mayol And Enzo Maiorca, is a visual tribute to the passion for scuba diving. Although having received a deleterious welcome at the opening ceremony of the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, the big Blue is Luc Besson’s biggest French box office success with more than 9 million cinema admissions. Associated with this film, the public remembers the iconic soundtrack ofEric Serra, official composer of Luc Besson since the 80s.
3. Leon (1994)
With “Leon“, Luc Besson has made an unforgettable thriller where a solitary hitman, Léon, becomes the improbable mentor of Mathilda, a vengeful young girl. The unforgettable Jean Reno interprets the title role there while Natalie Portman made his film debut there.
4. Lucy (2014)
With “Lucy“, Luc Besson explored the limits of human capacity by integrating the concept of artificial intelligence in 2014. Scarlett Johansson embodies a woman who acquires superhuman powers thanks to a mysterious substance. With more than mixed reviews upon its release, the film was attacked for its unrealistic script and for its sometimes inconsistent treatment of the theme of human evolution. On the other hand, Lucy was a hit at the global box office with more than 459 million dollars in international revenue, the biggest success of French cinema abroad.
5. Nikita (1990)
“The art of killing. It is the art of surviving.Released in 1990, Nikita tells the story of Nikita, a drug-addicted young woman who guns down a police officer during a robbery. Sentenced to death, she is finally saved by the government, which offers her a deal: if she agrees to become a contract killer, she will be released. The film marked the history of action cinema. It is notably one of the first films to feature a strong and independent woman in the lead role. The film notably inspired many other films with female protagonists, such as Leon (1994) or even Atomic Blonde (2017).