Harvey Weinstein Calls Luc Besson a "Has Been"
In attempt to find some news worth sharing today on Memorial Day (in the US), there's nothing really at all making the rounds on the internet, except for this minor gripe between two Hollywood power houses. One of my favorite filmmakers, Luc Besson, who I met and interviewed back at Sundance, blamed The Weinstein Company for butchering the release of his film Arthur and the Invisibles here in America, and in turn, Harvey Weinstein shot back at him calling him a "has been". That's quite a ridiculous statement from Harvey, even if Arthur and the Invisibles wasn't that great!
A couple of weeks ago in an interview on SuicideGirls.com, Luc Besson spoke about Arthur and the Invisibles and said, "Its American distributor was the worst I have worked with in my entire life, in any country, because they changed so much of the film and tried to pretend the film was American." That claim I'd say is much more realistic than anything, as the movie was terrible (I only gave it 4 stars out of 10) and it seems most of the trouble with films nowadays comes from studio execs taking control, like Harvey Weinstein.
Harvey's response to Besson's statement came later in the New York Daily News, where he called Besson a "has-been" and offered him $1 million if he could prove that he made the film for the $85 million that he originally claimed.
Besson's latest film, Angel-A, is a brilliant film much more akin to the time where he did put out pure brilliance (La Femme Nikita, The Professional, Fifth Element). I know he's slowed down, and Besson has admitted himself that he's considering leaving filmmaking, but that doesn't mean he's a "has been"! If anything, make an effort to go out and see Angel-A, and you'll then be reminded how amazing Besson still is even at this point.
I'm not one to make claims about the operation of big studios in Hollywood, but I will defend a filmmaker who I know is not a "has been" and for a film that did get butchered by its American distributor.