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Big Blue, The

Le Grand bleu

Director Luc Besson’s third feature, The Blue also remains his most personal film to date. The son of two diving instructors, Besson grew up by the sea and first saw the champion French diver Jacques Mayol when he was sixteen. Mayol provided the inspiration for this epic paean to the lure of the sea, whose simple plot involves the friendly rivalry between two divers. Besson cast the then virtually unknown Jean-Marc Barr as the Mayol figure, a loner who is out of place on dry land and haunted by the ‘Big Blue’. Besson’s own fascination with the mystique of the sea imbues the film with a poetry that is sadly lacking in his subsequent work. There are amusing performances by Jean Reno and Rosanna Arquette as, respectively, Barr’s rival and girlfriend, but the most impressive thing about The Big Blue is the astonishing diving sequences.

France, 1988.
Filmed in English.
Colour.
Scope.
Dolby stereo SR.
120 min.

The screening of The Big Blue will be followed by an on-stage discussion with Jean-Marc Barr and Pascal Arnold. Combined ticket price £5.00, £4.50 CONC.

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