Monday, 12 November 2012

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

2010 - Dir: Luc Besson
Shown in FeckenOdeon 2 on 16th November, 2012

THE WRITER: This film is based on the graphic books of Jaques Tardi who worked closely with Luc Besson to transfer his creations to the screen. The first Adele Blanc-Sec story was originally serialised in the daily newspaper "Sud-Ouest" in 1976. Later stories first appeared in a monthly comic magazine, "A Suivre", then published as graphic novels. There were eight Adele books culminating in with the “death” of the heroine at the hands of a fearsome ice creature (though a  passing young scientist conveniently cryogenically preserved her for revival should the need arise). In an interview, Tardi explained that Adele's "death" was necessitated by the onset of World War I. Her feisty nature made it impossible to provide her with a place in the war. She would not have been allowed to fight, and could no more have settled for being a nurse, than she could have remained home rolling bandages.
Tardi’s more serious work is fiercely anti-war, mainly focusing on the collective European trauma of the First World War, and the pitfalls of patriotism. His grandfather's involvement in the day-to-day horrors of trench warfare, seems to have had a deep influence on his artistic output.
THE DIRECTOR: Luc Besson’s parents were scuba diving instructors so his early life was entirely aquatic. He showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997) while still at school. He planned on becoming a marine biologist specializing in dolphins until a diving accident at the age of 17 made an underwater career impossible. He moved to America for three years, then returned to France and formed Les Films de Loups - his own production company, which later changed its name to Les Films de Dauphins. He is now able to dive again. He’s better known for international thrillers like Nikita and Leon but has written scripts for over 40 films, produced 109 and directed 18.
THE LEADING PLAYER: Although trained as an actor Louise Bourgoin is more familiar to French TV viewers as the weather forecaster on the nightly “Le Grand Journal” news programme. She had small parts in four films but this one was the real breakthrough. She’s now working with Gerard Depardieu on the forthcoming “Asterix & Obelix: On Her Majesty's Service” so a return to the isobars seems an unlikely forecast.

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