Today is Luc Besson’s birthday. He is 55 . Happy Birthday Luc.

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I was lucky enough to work at Palace and we bought the distribution rights to Nikita and we had a great deal of fun releasing this classic film. I took a buyer from HMV to an early screening and he named his daughter Nikita after the film as he enjoyed it so much.
Then when I was at 20th Century Fox we released Subway and I created a special edition (Version Longue) video box set of The Big Blue.
Luc has directed 23 films but has produced over 120!

I have selected 11 films to show here, so many classics to pick from.

In 1983 (aged 24) he produced and directed The Last Battle  with Jean Reno.

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A post apocalyptic view of the world with only one line of dialogue. Two men battle vicious thugs for food, shelter and their lives.

Next came Subway (1985) with Christophe Lambert, Richard Bohringer, the astonishingly beautiful Isabelle Adjani, Jean-Hugues Anglade and Jean Reno. They play various weirdos all living in the Paris Metro system, underground and away from the eyes of the law.

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In 1988, he wrote, produced and directed The Big Blue. A hit all over the world and a massive sales brochure for Taormina. The action takes place around the world free diving chamionships as Enzo (Jean Reno) and Jaques (Jean-Marc Barr) dive without airtanks. The film opened the Cannes Film Festival in 1988 and played for a whole year in cinemas in France.

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The Eric Serra soundtrack is multi award winning.

Nikita (1990) was a smash hit everywhere and made a star of Anne Parillaud. The story of a convicted killer who is spared death and trained as an assassin only to find her world is no better than when she was a junkie killer. A genius film.


Another great soundtrack from Eric Serra and Jean Reno in a pre Leon hitman role as Victor the Cleaner .

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Atlantis in 1991 reunited Luc with the sea in this documentary which is more visual art than a film.  A stunning underwater love letter to diving.

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Leon (1994) is considered a classic with Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and Natalie Porman all on top form.

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Everyone – fight scene

The Fifth Element (1997) was a very Award laden sci-fi epic with heroes and villains, great costumes and a cast that includes, Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker, Lee Evans. Flying taxis and great aliens.

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Luc Besson Interview

Making Of The Fifth Element

Angel – A (2005)

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Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)

A major departure as Luc directs an animated family friendly kids film. No-one saw that coming:

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The Lady (2011). A bio-pic of Aung San Suu Kyi the Burmese democratic activist. Starring Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis, An emotional and educational journey.

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The Family (2013) has Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer as a Mafia family under witness protection hiding out in France. A comedy crime movie that didn’t hit the heights of previous genius.

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Undoubtedly one of the worlds coolest directors. Whatever he directs or produces next, we can’t wait.  Happy Birthday.