THE BIG BLUE
LE GRAND BLEU
1988, Gaumont, 138 min, France, Dir: Luc Besson

Sea lover Luc Besson lets his devotion to all things oceanic, particularly the experience of diving, run the full gamut of emotions here, making the water a character in and of itself. His very personal film is part mystical quest, part bittersweet romantic comedy, with Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr), who lost his diver father to the ocean, obsessed with proving himself more dolphin than man. Johanna (Rosanna Arquette) meets and falls in love with him while she is on a trip to Peru. She begins to follow Jacques on his mission, journeying to Taormina, Italy, where he will compete against childhood friend Enzo (Jean Reno) for a deep-sea free-diving championship (diving without oxygen tanks). “The real star of the film, however, is the third corner of the love triangle, the sea itself. Sumptuously captured by Besson's camera, and brought to life by Eric Serra's haunting score, it is sometimes beautiful and calm, other times dark and threatening. … There are so many reasons to love this film, and an opportunity to catch it in all its soaring majesty on the big screen should not be missed.” – Ben Stephens, Edinburgh University Film Society.


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