Luc Besson is a French film director, writer, and producer. He is known for directing and producing thrillers and action films that are visually rich. Critics cite Besson as a pivotal figure in the Cinema du lookmovement, a specific, highly visual style produced from the 1980s into the early 1990s. Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1988) andNikita (1990) are all considered to be of this stylistic school. Besson had been nominated for Best Director and Best Picture Cesar Awards for his films Leon: The Professional and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. He won Best Director and Best French Director for his sci-fi action film The Fifth Element (1997). His action thriller film Taken 2 (2012) is France's biggest export success.
In 1980, he founded his own production company, called Les Films du Loup, and later Les Films du Dauphin. This was superseded in 2000 by his co-founding EuropaCorp film company with his longtime collaborator, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam. Besson has been involved with filmmaking for more than 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.
Luc Besson was born 18 March 1959. Besson was born in Paris, to parents who both worked as Club Med scuba-diving instructors. Influenced by this milieu, as a child Besson planned to become a marine biologist. He spent much of his youth traveling with his parents to tourist resorts in Italy, Yugoslavia, and Greece. The family returned to France when Besson was 10. His parents promptly divorced and each remarried. "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."
At the age of 17, Besson had a diving accident that left him unable to dive.
"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.
"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."
Out of boredom, Besson started writing stories, including the background to what he later developed as The Fifth Element (1997), one of his most popular movies. The film is inspired by the French comic books which Besson read as a teenager. He reportedly worked on the first drafts of Le Grand Bleu while still in his teens. Besson directed and co-wrote the screenplay of this science fiction thriller with the screenwriter, Robert Mark Kamen.
At 18, Besson returned to his birthplace of Paris. There he took odd jobs in film to get a feel for the industry. He worked as an assistant to directors including Claude Faraldo andPatrick Grandperret. Besson directed three short films, a commissioned documentary, and several commercials.
After this, he moved to the United States for three years, but returned to Paris, where he formed his own production company. He first named it Les Films du Loup, but changed it to Les Films du Dauphin. In the early 1980s, Besson met Eric Serra and asked him to compose the score for his first short film, L'Avant dernier. He later used Serra as a composer for other films of his.
Since the late 20th century, Besson has written and produced numerous action movies, including the Taxi (1998–2007) and The Transporter (2002–2008) series, and the Jet Lifilms Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed/Danny the Dog. His English-language films Taken and Taken 2, both starring Liam Neeson, have been major successes, with Taken 2 becoming the largest-grossing export French film. Besson produced the promotional movie for the Paris bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Besson won Best Director and Best French Director for his film The Fifth Element (1997). he was nominated for Best Director and Best Picture Cesar Awards for his films Leon: The Professional (1994) and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999).
Besson has been married four times; first, in 1986, to actress Anne Parillaud who would star in Besson's Nikita (1990). The couple divorced in 1991.
Besson's second wife was actress Maiwenn Le Besco, who was 15 when they began dating in 1991. They were married in late 1992 when Le Besco was pregnant with their daughter Shanna, who was born on 3 January 1993.
Le Besco later claimed that their relationship inspired Besson's film Leon (1994). Their marriage ended in 1997, when Besson became involved with American actress Milla Jovovich during the filming of The Fifth Element (1997). He married the 22-year-old on 14 December 1997, at the age of 38, but they divorced in 1999.
On 28 August 2004, at the age of 45, Besson married film producer Virginie Silla. The couple has three children: Talia, Satine, and Mao Besson.
Among Besson's awards are the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film Critics Prize, Fantasporto Audience Jury Award-Special Mention, Best Director, and Best Film, forLe Dernier Combat in 1983; the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Silver Ribbon-Best Director-Foreign Film, for La Femme Nikita, 1990; the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film, Nil by Mouth, 1997; and the Best Director Cesar Award, for The Fifth Element, 1997.Source