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Luc Besson

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March 8, 2007 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
THE American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica takes on a Gallic flavor this weekend when it pays homage to Luc Besson, the iconoclastic, influential French director, producer and writer. "Angel-A," Besson's first film as a director in six years, gets a sneak preview on Friday; its official opening is set for late May.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Is McG going soft on us? Has the director behind so much of the 21st century's over-the-top action - from the light froth of his "Charlie's Angels" reboot to the post-apocalyptic dark of "Terminator Salvation" - tapped into a more sentimental side? "3 Days to Kill," starring Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld and Amber Heard, certainly suggests a different emotional temperature. McG is a filmmaker in transition, mixing metaphors, genres and feelings in this action-thriller, espionage-comedy, family-drama jumble.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 1999 | KENNETH TURAN, TIMES FILM CRITIC
Who was responsible for Joan of Arc? Who put those wild and crazy ideas in the impressionable head of the future saint and savior of France? "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" has a few suggestions. Perhaps it was that kindly 15th century country priest, the one who told a God-fearing little girl to listen to her voices. Or maybe it was yet another priest, responding to the girl's survival guilt after witnessing a brutal massacre with a reassuring "the Lord always has a good reason.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
The first trailer for one of the Paul Walker's final films, "Brick Mansions," has been released, and it finds the late action star on familiar ground as he pummels bad guys, leaps from tall buildings, bickers with a mismatched partner, drops a few one-liners and, of course, puts the pedal to the metal. "Brick Mansions" is a remake of the 2004 French film "District B13," which popularized the acrobatic street sport known as parkour. In the new movie, Walker plays an undercover cop in dystopian Detroit who teams up with a local hood -  David Belle, reprising his role from "B13" - on a mission to stop a gang with a very large bomb and a very important hostage.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 25, 2007 | Kevin Crust, Times Staff Writer
Despite the seeming ubiquity of Luc Besson, it has been nearly eight years since a Besson-directed live-action film opened in the U.S. Busying himself with producing and/or writing a slew of high-octane (and highly profitable) action films such as the "Taxi" and "Transporter" series, he's never been far from the cinematic limelight following the extravagance of 1999's medieval epic "The Messenger -- The Story of Joan of Arc."
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
French filmmaker Luc Besson has long been among the world's finest purveyors of classy trash, making movies that are a combination of glossy style and gritty action. From his own films as director such as "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional" to more recent efforts on which he served as producer and screenwriter like "Transporter" and "Taken," Besson has a knack for entertainment that is somehow smart and dumb, flashy and yet wise. His latest, "The Family," with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, walks the same line.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 1991 | ELAINE DUTKA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Four years ago, French writer-director Luc Besson informed actress Anne Parillaud, newly entrenched as the woman in his life, that her career needed a shot in the arm. He wanted to write a script for her--one that would elevate her above the mindless starlet roles she had inhabited and reveal, at long last, what she could do. What happened since, says 31-year-old Besson, is a "fairy tale." "La Femme Nikita" went on to become the second-highest grossing film in France in 1990.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2007 | Mark Olsen, Special to The Times
WHETHER he meant it as a threat or a promise, French filmmaker Luc Besson had long ago predicted that he would stop directing after finishing 10 films. Having made a name for himself internationally by bringing the flair and panache of a European fashion shoot to American-style action movies with such films as "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional," Besson has more recently refashioned himself as a mogul, writing, producing and distributing an astonishing number of films in France.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 2, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey / Los Angeles Times Film Critic
If "The Lady" is any indication, Luc Besson, the Paris-born filmmaker behind such testosterone-fueled thrillers as "Taken," "Transporter 2" and "The Fifth Element," is having a tough time getting in touch with his feminine side. Yes, there was his recent script for "Colombiana," but at least as portrayed by Zoe Saldana, that was one tough chick. "The Lady," on the other hand, required both elegance and eloquence in telling the story of Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, whose efforts earned her a Nobel Prize.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 1999 | ROBERT W. WELKOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There is a striking photograph of Milla Jovovich taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi that the actress and cover girl brought home one day to show her husband, French film director Luc Besson. It was, she recalls, the portrait of this creature, neither woman nor man, with Medusa-like curls snaking apart and stiff, powdered hair going this way and that, and crazy, sepia-toned, "Blade Runner"-type makeup filled with shadows and strange expression.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2013 | By Chris Lee
The hive of awards season buzz already surrounding her performance in writer-director Spike Jonze romantic-dramedy “Her” has left Scarlett Johansson feeling “strange” rather than, say, proud or optimistic enough to call her stylist to reserve a red carpet gown. “I feel very disconnected from the awards process,” Johansson said from Paris, where she is shooting the thriller “Lucy” with writer-director Luc Besson. “I don't even know how it works. And I'm an academy member!
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
French filmmaker Luc Besson has long been among the world's finest purveyors of classy trash, making movies that are a combination of glossy style and gritty action. From his own films as director such as "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional" to more recent efforts on which he served as producer and screenwriter like "Transporter" and "Taken," Besson has a knack for entertainment that is somehow smart and dumb, flashy and yet wise. His latest, "The Family," with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, walks the same line.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 2012 | By Oliver Gettell
One of the lessons to be gleaned from sequels like "Taken 2" is that bad guys never learn. You'd think, for example, that anyone privy to the bloody rampage carried out by concerned father and ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) to save his daughter from Albanian slavers in the first "Taken" would think twice before messing with the guy. Alas, the villains in "Taken 2," being relatives of the slain thugs from the previous film, are out for revenge, forcing Bryan to engage in another round of family-saving and neck-snapping.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 4, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
"Taken" was a rare phenomenon in Hollywood when it premiered in January 2009: a surprise smash hit. At a time when big screen brands are carefully managed and would-be blockbusters created from a list of ingredients, no one expected much from a low-budget European action movie starring Liam Neeson. Not even its distributors at Fox. But, drawn by a story that balanced ruthless action with a compelling father-daughter relationship, audiences kept buying tickets over a five-month run at the box office, taking it from a solid $24.7-million opening to a fantastic final domestic take of $145 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 2, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey / Los Angeles Times Film Critic
If "The Lady" is any indication, Luc Besson, the Paris-born filmmaker behind such testosterone-fueled thrillers as "Taken," "Transporter 2" and "The Fifth Element," is having a tough time getting in touch with his feminine side. Yes, there was his recent script for "Colombiana," but at least as portrayed by Zoe Saldana, that was one tough chick. "The Lady," on the other hand, required both elegance and eloquence in telling the story of Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, whose efforts earned her a Nobel Prize.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2010 | By Amy Kaufman >>>
Last year on Super Bowl weekend, "Taken," the hard-boiled action film starring Liam Neeson as a former CIA operative trying to track down his kidnapped daughter, became a surprise box-office hit that ended up grossing more than $145 million domestically. Nobody was more surprised at the film's success than its director, Frenchman Pierre Morel, who suddenly found himself fielding calls from a handful of industry executives eager to hire him. "I never thought 'Taken' would do that well," Morel said recently via telephone from Paris, where he was standing on the banks of the Seine after exiting a restaurant where he'd been dining with a friend.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2006 | From a Times staff writer
Luc Besson, the director of such films as "The Fifth Element" and "La Femme Nikita," is directing a combination live-action/computeranimated adaptation of his 2003 children's book "Arthur and the Minimoys." It stars Freddie Highmore and Mia Farrow and will feature the voices of Madonna, Snoop Dogg and David Bowie. The Weinstein Co. has acquired rights to the film in the United States and other English-speaking territories.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 1991
. . . Going Our Way: "La Femme Nikita," France's popular action film about a female political killer (Anne Parillaud stars), may become an American movie as well. (It opens here on March 15, from the Samuel Goldwyn Co.) A "translation" of the film is currently in development at Warner Bros., with Luc Besson--"Nikita's" director--attached. . . . Perhaps Jim Morrison was a visionary.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2009 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
In Hollywood, lives are shortened all the time by envy and jealousy, but only screenwriters die of encouragement. People are happy to tell writers how much they adore their scripts, but actually getting them made is a whole other story. You can win an Oscar and still put in years of struggle trying to get your next project going. But here's one exception: Robert Mark Kamen.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2007 | Mark Olsen, Special to The Times
WHETHER he meant it as a threat or a promise, French filmmaker Luc Besson had long ago predicted that he would stop directing after finishing 10 films. Having made a name for himself internationally by bringing the flair and panache of a European fashion shoot to American-style action movies with such films as "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional," Besson has more recently refashioned himself as a mogul, writing, producing and distributing an astonishing number of films in France.
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