If The Fifth Element was Luc Besson's love letter to Moebius and his fanciful surrealist futurism, then his (legal) adaptation of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec is his love letter to Jacques Tardi's own obsession with the imaginative heights of the pop fiction of the early 20th century. Situated somewhere between Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Herge's Tintin stories, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec follows the eponymous character, a journalist and traveler who is surrounded by fanciful happenings.
While Adele Blanc-Sec is as impeccably designed and imagined as The Fifth Element, what really brings the story to life in ways Tardi couldn't have even imagined is the incredible lead performance by Louise Bourgoin, who manages to shine even as she's surrounded by phenomenal special effects. A strong hit in Europe, Adele Blanc-Sec is unfortunately overlooked stateside, but for fans of Tintin and modernist surreal films like City of Lost Children as well as pulp adventures like the Indiana Jones series, Adele Blanc-Sec should be a natural fit, following a plot across France and Egypt that features a dinosaur, mummies and even the Titanic.
Most of the other works on this list are well known and beloved, but Adele Blanc-Sec deserves further attention, both in film form and in its original comic form. It's that rare film that can be loved by people of any age and helps show how little filmmakers have scratched the surface of comics.
by Nick Hanover