Movies: 'District' Derring-Do
Gordon, Devin, Newsweek
Byline: Devin Gordon
David Belle has starred in just one film, a French urban action thriller called "District B13" that won't open on U.S. soil until next month. But during a preview screening last week at New York's Tribeca Grand Hotel, he was mobbed by 100 awestruck fans who greeted him as if he were Brad Pitt. Fifteen years ago, in his hometown of Lisses, just south of Paris, Belle invented a sport called parkour (rough translation: "free running"), in which participants dart up, around and over the obstacles of urban life: walls, staircases, rooftops and anything else between them and where they want to go. It spread fast, first via ad campaigns for Nike and the BBC, then by viral videos on the Web. Now Madonna has made it her new Kabbalah, adding elements of it to her stage show. The next James Bond movie will feature it in fight scenes.
Belle, however, remains the prophet of parkour, and "District B13" is his Sermon on the Mount. …