heralding and leading
the dread allegorical Zone Wars
in the Franco-American film art
of Luc Besson
Like most film artists who were established or emerging in the early Eighties, Luc Paul Maurice Besson was as implicitly shocked and outraged as audiences were by the helicopter crash that killed actor/writer/director Vic Morrow and illegally hired and employed child extras Renee Chen and Myca Le around 2:20 am in early morning of July 23, 1982 on the George Folsey jr. produced John Landis set of the Kathleen Kennedy associate produced, Frank Marshall produced and Landis and Steven Spielberg executive produced Landis, Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller docufeature film TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE . Unlike most film artists, however, Besson also understood that the TZ disaster was so traumatic that it had ended the daylit New Hollywood era and kicked off the twilit, allegorical, embattled, and righteously furious Zone Wars that have raged ever since in fiction and film. For a twilit black and white post-apocalyptic world midway between light and darkness and life and death that evoked the equally black and white world of the original TWILIGHT ZONE telefilm series featured prominently in Besson’s first cinematic Zone War salvo, the twilit and allegorical indie docufeature film LE DERNIER COMBAT aka THE LAST BATTLE , fittingly released in January of 1983 to kick off a whole new year and era of twilit and allegorical film art.
How also fitting that the mostly male denizens of this new twilit post-apocalyptic world were unable to speak, reminding us that the mostly male film artists of the world now had to find their voices to cope with and exist in the new post-TZ disaster apocalyptic film art era. Thus, the sight and sound of the short, slight, voiceless, unnamed and George Lucas resembling and implicitly linked hero-played by Pierre Jolivet-triumphing over a Spielberg resembling and implicitly linked Dark Knight-played by Jean Reno-in the final desperate duel of the film, a final desperate duel that evoked the light saber duels between Good Jedi Knights and Dark Sith Lords that had ended the first two films of the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy to affirm the implicit link of the unnamed hero to the short and slight Lucas, and then triumphing over a Sir Ridley Scott resembling and implicitly linked gang leader-played by Fritz Wepper-to become the gang’s new leader implied the hope of Besson that Lucas would triumph over Spielberg and the TZ disaster and emerge as the leader of world film art in the post-TZ disaster era, perhaps with the release later that year of the twilit, allegorical, computer generated imagery [CGI] enhanced, Ozian themed, implicitly Spielberg roasting and Lucas executive produced Richard Marquand indie docufeature film STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI , released on May 23, 1983…