Luc Besson has a long relationship with the action genre. Having been the director behind what is still considered three of the cult classics of ‘90s genre cinema—the original La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, and Leon—he returned to it again this year with the visually adventurous but narratively muddled Valerian. But even though that film had a rough rollout, Besson is still promoting it around the world, including ahead of its Brazilian premiere. And while in Brazil, he had a candid confession about American cinema’s new favourite genre: he’s kind of over superhero movies.
During an interview with CinePOP, Besson discussed how he went from being excited over superhero movies to being bored with them—and how he particularly considers Captain America to be a brazen piece of American propaganda in need of a little more tact.
“Totally tired of it,” Besson says when the subject of superhero movies comes up during the video interview. “I mean, it was great 10 years ago when we see the first Spider-Man and Iron Man. But now, it’s like number five, six, seven; the superhero is working with another superhero, but it’s not the same family. I’m lost.”
Also while speaking of the political subtext of the genre, Besson adds, “But what bothers me most is it’s always here to show the supremacy of America and how they are great. I mean, which country in the world would have the guts to call a film ‘Captain Brazil’ or ‘Captain France?’ I mean, no one! We would be like so ashamed and say, ‘No, no, come on, we can’t do that.’ They can. They can call it ‘Captain America,’ and everybody think it normal. I’m not here for propaganda, I’m here to tell a story.”
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