Sunday, March 14, 2010

Luc Besson Returns to Sci-Fi

That's the poster for French director Luc Besson's latest, a Steampunk adventure titled Les Aventures Extraordinaire d'Adele Blanc-Sec, based on the French comic series by author Jacques Tardi. Besson wrote and directed one of Sci-Fi's most underrated films, The Fifth Element and 2006's CGI Fantasy flop, Arthur and the Invisibles.

The story surrounds the titular Adele Blanc-Sec, a popular early-20th Century novelist who turns investigative journalist. The beautiful Adele has to deal with a bevy of suitors while fighting off any number of monsters, beasties and assorted creatures.

If you've been reading from the beginning, you know Uncle Prospero loves him some good Steampunk. In fact, I basically started blogging to document my Steampunk-inspired production of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. And my fascination with the genre goes back to before it actually had a name. I grew up loving the novels and stories of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells (and the countless movies they inspired), so it's no wonder I have an affinity to the movement. The Victorian era saw the Industrial Revolution and Verne and Wells were prescient enough to imagine nuclear submarines, space travel, computers and even wireless communication (though I'm still waiting for time travel, teleportation and the discovery of Atlantis).

As for Besson's films (which include the movie that made my obsession a star, The Transporter and the actioner, La femme Nikita), they always manage to be over-the top, if nothing else. In The Fifth Element, starring former obsession Bruce Willis and future Zombie-fighter extraordinaire, Milla Jovavich, Besson imagines a future with government-regulated tobacco use; vacations on other planets; McDonald's uniforms designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and what is possibly Gary Oldman's creepiest villain, ever. I, for one, can't wait for what he does for Steampunk aesthetics. The trailer below (via) is in French, but you get the general idea.

Les Aventures Extraordinaire d'Adele Blanc-Sec is scheduled for release in France, in April. No word on a U.S. release date, but you can bet I'll be among the first in line.

More, anon.

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