Bridging the Gaps: the Construction of Paris in Luc Besson's Angel-A (2005)

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Luc Besson's Angel-A (2005), whose seemingly incompatible characters, genres and intertextual allusions reach reconciliation only in and by virtue of the space in which they are contained, foregrounds an eclecticism characteristic of twenty-first-century French films set in Paris. Like the film's heroes, Besson seeks to 'make the most' of Paris by turning the city into the film's chief protagonist and the bridges of Paris, particularly the pont Alexandre III, into the film's key signifiers of passage, suspension and connection. The sheer extravagance of Besson's view of the city also provides the key to the film's generic identity, which recalls the screwball comedies of the 1930s and early 1940s. The visual and structural importance of Paris in Angel-A further serves to figure the metaphorical bridge that Besson creates between his own work and a number of other films, both classical and contemporary. © 2011 Intellect Ltd.


Besson, Bridge, Jamel Debbouze, Paris, Screwball comedy, Space

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