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Edinburgh Film Festival Celebrates Cinéma du Look, Comic-Strip Adaptations

Jean-Jacques Beineix’s 'Betty Blue' opened the fest 30 years ago

LONDON — Thirty years since the Edinburgh Film Festival opened with the U.K. premiere of Jean-Jacques Beineix’s “Betty Blue,” the fest is to devote one of its retrospectives to the Cinéma du Look wave of 1980 and early 1990s French filmmaking. Another retrospective, “POW!!! Live Action Comic-Strip Adaptations: The First Generation,” delves into the evolution of the live-action comic-strip adaptation in cinema.

The Gallic retro will focus on the work of Beineix, Luc Besson and Leos Carax, the three directors around which Cinéma Du Look revolved. Titles in the strand will include Beineix’s “Betty Blue” (1986) and “Diva” (1981), Besson’s “Subway” (1985), “The Big Blue” (1988) and “La Femme Nikita” (1990), and Carax’s “Mauvais Sang” (1986) and “Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf” (1991).

The films showcase performances by Jean Reno, Christophe Lambert, Michel Piccoli, Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Binoche, Jeanne Moreau, Dominique Pinon and Julie Delpy. Several of the stars will attend the festival, which is headed by Mark Adams.

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“POW!!!” will offer festival-goers the chance to explore the cinematic roots of the current wave of superhero blockbusters. It explores the best of the genre from explosive martial arts to chic ‘60s espionage via funky blaxploitation and far-out science fiction.

Titles will include Jean Jaques Vierne’s “TinTin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece” (France/Belgium, 1961), Joseph Losey’s “Modesty Blaise” (U.K., 1966), Leslie H. Martinson’s “Batman: The Movie” (U.S., 1966), Mario Bava’s “Danger: Diabolik” (Italy, 1968), Roger Vadim’s “Barbarella” (France/Italy, 1968), Junya Sato’s “Golgo 13” (Japan, 1973), Kenji Misumi’s “Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance” (Japan, 1972), Corrado Farina’s “Baba Yaga” (Italy/France, 1973), Arthur Marks’ “Friday Foster” (U.S., 1975) and Robert Altman’s “Popeye” (U.S., 1980).

'Modesty Blaise'

‘Modesty Blaise’

Senior programmer Niall Fulton commented: “With superhero cinema dominating the international box office, the time is right for the festival to take an affectionate look back at the weird, wild, and wonderful world of the big-screen comic-strip adaptation. It’s a unique and exciting opportunity to see a selection of rare, iconic cult classics the way they should be seen, and provides a highly entertaining insight into the provenance of this current global phenomenon.”