Luc Besson

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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 over 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.


Early life

Besson was born in Paris to parents who were both Club Med scuba diving instructors.[1] This had a profound 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.[2] The family returned to France when Besson was 10. His parents promptly divorced and were remarried to 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."[3]

At the age of 17 he had a diving accident which left him temporarily unable to dive.[4]

"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.[5]

"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."[6]


Out of boredom, he started to write stories, including the backdrop to what later became one of his most popular movies, The Fifth Element.[7] 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.[8]

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