What Made Luc Besson Direct Again?


Director, adept producer, writer and even actor…French filmmaker Luc Besson (Lucy) has done it all with great success all over the world. Before his welcome return to directing live action films, the 58-year-old Besson did an animated film series of Arthur and the Invisibles, but had not directed a live action, full feature film since 1999s The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.

Besson’s live action directorial return was 2010’s The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Secand, which I still have not seen, then a year later The Lady told the story of Aung San Suu Kyi as she becomes the core of Burma’s democracy movement, and her relationship with her husband, writer Michael Aris. Michelle Yoeh and David Thewlis star in the main roles and the film got a limited release in the U.S. Michelle Yoeh and Luc Besson initially sounds like the formula for one of his many action films like The Professional or The Fifth Element, but this great filmmaker should be recognized for further female characters and filmmakers as well.

Besson answers the question why he directed again for The Lady in an interview from The Guardian here:

“I said if I made 10 films in my life, I would be very lucky. That’s how I meant it. My fear after my first one was whether they would let me make another one, so I had this goal in my head. After six, seven films, I started to get a little tired. Shooting takes a lot out of you. You finish a film and most of the time you’re half-dead. I was happy to finish after 10….I regain my appetite film by film,” he says. “I have a couple of things, maybe. I’m waiting to fall in love…It’s not so much about the film, I just feel so proud that the story is told. You’re just not going to believe the story of this woman [Aung San Suu Kyi]. I’m crying even in the editing room.”

Filmmaking requires so much personal investment that perceived personal project like this one can seem like career changers, but filmmaking eventually comes down to personal decisions from filmmakers. How do I use my power/influence? Do I want to please the audience more or convey messages I feel are important to them? Do I plan to make money on this film?

Besson certainly has the power to get his films made, but this scenario made me think about the overall process and how each title Besson has had fits into this process.

So glad Besson is directing again. I cannot wait to see his latest Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets today. Get involved and create your own customized trailer by leaving a comment of 140 characters or less on the Valerian teaser here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BszXhUjJz00 !

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

This entry was posted in 2010s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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