7 August 2014 5:43 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Locarno – For decades now, Luc Besson, a director who gave French cinema a huge shot of mainstream action-traction and grandfathered – though not old himself – a new generation of Gallic action directors, has been dubbed, and sometimes dismissed in his native France, as “American.”

That, from Besson’s point-of-view, would appear to be an over-simplification.

Fresh off an $81.9 million first ten-day U.S. bow for the Universal-distribbed “Lucy,” the Luc Besson who spoke at the press conference at Locarno Fest, which “Lucy” opened on Wednesday, was a full-on supporter of the world’s new multi-culturalism in an Internet age.

Like Lionsgate-Summit “Now You See Me,” from Besson alum Louis Leterrier, or indeed “Taken” and “Taken 2,” both produced by Besson’s EuropaCorp, “Lucy” globe-trots with a modern-day ease, in location, characters, thesps and filmic influences.

Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, kicks off in Taipei, Taiwan, as a hard-partying American girl whose feckless b. »


- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy

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