Violence, art, political correctness, these are just some of the themes addressed today by Luc Besson in a 'river' junket in which the director French of Leon and The Fifth Element presented his latest film Dogman, already in competition this year in Venice, and in cinemas from 12 October with Lucky Red. A black fairy tale, that of Besson, starring Douglas (the eclectic and luciferian Caleb Landry Jones), a boy who from an early age is locked in a cage full of dogs by a violent father and brother. Douglas could not grow well, especially after losing the use of his legs. The boy thus finds himself living in a wheelchair surrounded by his loyal dogs (over a hundred) capable of protecting him as, if necessary, delinquent. Always disguised in a flamboyant way (a way for him to protect himself), Douglas will first discover the theater of William Shakespeare and then also true love, that forever, but for him it will not be easy to free himself from a past without any happiness.
"I believe that violence is only a consequence. If you are hungry and you can eat it does not shoot - says the director born in 1959 in remote connection -. In short, I think that violence comes from misery and is precisely a horrible consequence of the latter". And again Besson on violence: "In the case of Dogman it was easy to tell it because it comes from a true story. Normally a dad and mom should love their kids, but if there's something wrong people go crazy and do crazy things. This is normal. Now Douglas is just a sensitive guy who has done nothing wrong and who, despite having endured all the pain in the world, is still trying to be good, this is the message. But people struggle to accept its diversity." What do you think of political correctness? "Art is the only thing we are really free in. You can make a painting of the size you want, with the color you want, you can, finally, express what you want. I don't understand political correctness with its 'You can't say this and this can be done and this can't'. I'll give just one example, it's as if Picasso the first time he put a nose in place of the ear, someone had said: you can't do this, it's not art". And the diversity of Douglas always ready for endless disguises? "Society always pretends to be open in the name of democracy, but in reality those who are different are put aside. That is the reality. And what's interesting is the fact that all the people who are different, whatever their difference, eventually recognize each other. Like Douglas' acting teacher who loves theatre very much and is as different as he is. And this obviously applies to dogs as well."
What was it like shooting a movie with so many dogs? "You have to be like a good sailor. Now you know that the sea is always different every morning and the same is true with one hundred and fifteen dogs on the set, you have to manage everything according to the circumstances. So small miracles can happen, but you never really know what's going to happen." Disappointment for not having won anything at the 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival? "I haven't expected anything for years. And I say this with great serenity . My job is not to expect something, but to make and propose films that some people will love and others will hate and still others will not even see."
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