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Besson back behind the camera for two new films December 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Producer/director presents ‘Arthur and the Invisibles,’ ‘Angela-A’

Luc Besson will be in town for the official premiere of his family fantasy ‘Arthur and the Invisibles.’

After a six-year absence from directing, distinguished filmmaker Luc Besson is back with two new productions, opening in Athens within two weeks of one another. The French director is in the Greek capital today for the official premiere of his film “Arthur and the Invisibles” which will open at theaters on Thursday.

It is a family production which blends real actors with animation and stars young Freddie Highmore (from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) and Mia Farrow. Unfortunately, the Greek release will not feature the original voices of Madonna, David Bowie and Snoop Dogg, because cinemas will only screen the version dubbed into Greek.

The films tells the story of 10-year-old Arthur, who goes in search of a much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people who live in complete harmony with nature, in order to save his grandfather’s house from demolition.

Besson has written four books about Arthur’s adventures, which have sold more than a million copies in 30 countries. It is a huge production by European standards and took five years and 65 million euros to complete it.

Production is now Luc Besson’s main occupation. The 47-year-old creator of hits including “Nikita,” “Le Grand Bleu” and “The Fifth Element” has produced 80 French and French-American films, with an emphasis on action movies, including “The Transporter,” “Danny the Dog” and “Yakamashi,” but has also participated in films such as “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.” He says that the reason why he has been able to produce such a variety of different films is because he has never gone into learning the details of how the great masters of film work, but, rather, has chosen films that reflect his own world.

On January 4, an adult version of Besson’s world will hit Greek cinemas with the premier of “Angel-A,” an erotic fantasy comedy drama about a mismatched criminal couple. Andre is performed by the pint-sized comic Jamel Debbouze and Angel-A by the extremely tall Danish actress Rie Rasmussen. According to past statements made by Besson, this is to be his last film as a director.

Spontaneity and force are two traits that can be distinguished throughout Besson’s work, both characteristics that can probably be explained by his childhood. Besson traveled constantly with his parents, both of whom were diving instructors. As a boy he lived in many different parts of the world, and even in Greece for a short time. “People often say that I am still a child at heart,” he has said in previous statements. “In fact I think it is just that my childhood is still very accessible to me. We were all children once. All we need to do is respect that fact.”

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