With “Dogman,” Luc Besson brings an emotive film to Venice


A sentimental Luc Besson returned to the spotlight shortly after the French top appeals court denied his motion to reopen a rape charge against him by bringing his most recent movie, “Dogman,” to the film festival in Venice.

Besson did not bring up the subject when speaking to reporters prior to the Venice premiere since he had consistently refuted the claim, which threatened to make him an outcast in the film business.

But he spoke extensively about his creative process and what had inspired him.

“Love and art are two of the sole things that can save you; money cannot. “When you have both, you’re lucky,” the French director remarked to cheers from the assembled journalists.

He appeared to be fighting back tears at one point as he thanked his co-presenters in the press conference, his wife Virginie Besson-Silla, and actors Caleb Landry-Jones , Jojo T. Gibbs.

Besson, who has helmed blockbusters including “The Fifth Element,” “Nikita,” and “Lucy,” claimed that he has been writing his screenplays in the early hours of the morning since she was a teenager.

It is my means of escaping this world, he declared. “Work is required; there is no genius involved. To succeed, all you need to do is maintain doing what works while improving what doesn’t.

In “Dogman,” performed by Landry-Jones, a troubled young man whose life was tortured by abuse as a child finds redemption in the care of stray dogs.

He claimed that reading a news article about a French couple who caged their newborn child gave him the idea. “I simply attempted to picture his life (after that)… Become a terrorist or become Mother Teresa, that is the question.

Besson said that choosing and then collaborating on a pack if dogs who represent the anguished protagonist’s pride and joy presented one of the film’s greatest obstacles.

There are 25 trainers, and each one of them has two dogs, which is something I didn’t anticipate. The dogs simply respond to their master’s voice, so when you say “action,” it seems like 25 people are shouting simultaneously, according to Besson.

At the festival, which runs through September 9, “Dogman” is among the 23 films vying for the coveted Golden Lion trophy.


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