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Jean-Jacques Annaud

Jean-Jacques Annaud

Jean-Jacques Annaud, a director, scriptwriter and producer, was born on October 1st, 1943 in Draveil, France. He studied at the IDHEC, an esteemed film school in Paris. Upon finishing his studies, he made his living as a director of commercials. His debut film was a satirical drama about the pointlessness of war, Black and White in Color (1975), which was made in Ivory Coast. The debut won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film. Although the director comes from France, he made most of his films abroad. Apart from two Oscars (Black and White in Color – Best Foreign Language film, 1977; Quest for Fire – Best Makeup, 1982), his films received numerous other prestigious awards including several Césars (Quest for Fire – Best Film, Best Director, 1982; The Name of the Rose – Best Foreign Language Film, 1987; The Bear – Best Director, 1989). Annaud's filmography contains adaptations of worldwide best sellers such as The Name of the Rose (1986), based on Umberto Eco's eponymous historical novel, and Marguerite Duras' The Lover (1992). The Czech audience is probably best acquainted with the Hollywood epic, Seven Years in Tibet (1997), which earned the director a lifetime ban from China. Annaud's most ambitious films are Quest for Fire (1981), The Bear (1988), and Two Brothers (2004). The protagonists of the audacious Quest for Fire are prehistoric people; the actors worked without words and communicated by made-up sounds and body language. In The Bear and Two Brothers, animals – grizzly bears in the first film and tigers in the second one replace actors. The director's experience with working with animals in front of the camera was probably the reason why a Chinese production company, China Film Group, asked him to cooperate on Wolf Totem (2015) despite his being banned from entering China. 


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