Luc Besson Makes a Triumphant Return to Venice Film Festival with ‘Dogman’ Following Legal Turmoil”
Renowned filmmaker Luc Besson brought his latest creation, “Dogman,” to the prestigious Venice Film Festival, marking his resurgence in the limelight just two months after France’s highest appeals court rejected a request to reopen a rape allegation against him.
Besson, who consistently denied the accusation that had cast a shadow over his career, chose not to address the legal case as he engaged with reporters before the Venice premiere. Instead, he delved into the inspiration behind his work and his creative process.
During the press conference, Besson expressed his perspective on life, stating, “The only two things that can save you are love and art, definitely not money. When you have both, you’re lucky.” His sentiments resonated with many journalists in attendance, earning him applause.
At a poignant moment, Besson seemed to hold back tears as he extended his gratitude to the actors of “Dogman,” Caleb Landry-Jones and Jojo T. Gibbs, as well as his producer wife, Virginie Besson-Silla, all of whom joined him during the event.
Luc Besson, renowned for directing previous hits like “The Fifth Element,” “Nikita,” and “Lucy,” shared his longstanding creative routine during the Venice Film Festival. He mentioned that since his teenage years, he has consistently risen early to craft his screenplays, viewing it as his way to transcend the mundane. He emphasized that there’s no inherent genius to it; instead, it’s about diligent work, continuous refinement, and persevering through challenges.
“Dogman” portrays the tumultuous life of a young man, portrayed by Landry-Jones, who endured childhood abuse and discovers redemption through caring for stray dogs. Besson disclosed that the inspiration for the film stemmed from a news article he read about a couple in France who confined their child in a cage. This compelled him to ponder the trajectory of such a person’s life afterward, asking the question, “What do you become, a terrorist or Mother Teresa?”
One of the significant hurdles in making the film, Besson revealed, was the meticulous process of selecting and collaborating with a group of dogs who play a central role in the life of the tormented protagonist.
Luc Besson also shared a surprising aspect of the filmmaking process, stating, “One thing I didn’t expect is there were 25 trainers, each handling two dogs. The dogs respond solely to their trainer’s voice, so when you call ‘action,’ you have 25 people shouting simultaneously.”
“Dogman” is among the 23 films vying for the esteemed Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, which is scheduled to continue until September 9th.