It is through art — film, in particular — that people get to know a country, not through Fox News, says French filmmaker Luc Besson.
The premiére of the most expensive French film ever made brought Besson to Mexico and gave him the opportunity to talk about this country’s film industry and the importance of defending it for the sake of cultural development.
“When we talk about the people of Mexico around the world, we talk about the literature, the painters, the art, the food, the athletes — because you have great athletes, and movies have a very important role [in that] because they can tell the world who you are,” the veteran director told the newspaper Milenio in an interview.
The importance of the film industry should be clear to government officials more than anyone else, he said, “because otherwise all the news we get is delivered by Fox News, where [the people of Mexico] are called thieves and only deserve a wall, but we know that’s not true,” he continued, encouraging filmmakers to use the cinema to tell the world who Mexicans really are.
Besson’s defense of a national cinema stems from what the government of France has been doing, consolidating the film industry by protecting it as a cultural asset instead of a commercial one.
Besson believes that Mexico gives a unique touch to its creations: “I like the freedom of your filmmakers, they’re usually pretty strong but at the same time they’re very sweet, you can feel their sensibility, and the mix of both is unique; it’s the same with the food: it can be very spicy but also very sweet.”
Besson is in Mexico to promote his newest film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. With a crowd-sourced and personally funded production budget of between US $177 and $210 million, it is both the most expensive European and independent film ever made.
The science fiction action-adventure movie was written and directed by Besson and co-produced by him and his wife. It is based on the French science fiction comics series Valérian and Laureline.
Starring in the production are Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan, who visited Mexico with Besson. The three spent time with fans in Mexico City where one asked Delevigne if she would make a gift of her lips for a tattoo.
“I cannot believe she approached me; she was kind, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!” declared Veth Lagunas Salcedo, 23, who left with a piece of paper bearing Delevigne’s kiss, which she will use as a stencil for her tattoo.
Source: Milenio (sp)