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Tribute to 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, he created over 500 of them. His debut film was a satirical drama about the pointlessness of war, Black and White in Color (1975), which was made in Ivory Coast. He drew inspiration from his own experience while serving in the military in Cameroon.
The debut won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film. Afterwards, he made a comedy set in a football environment in his native France, Hothead (1979). Although the director comes from France, he has 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), starring Brad Pitt.
Although it was an audience hit, the adventure drama earned the director a lifetime ban from China. Annaud's films often follow significant historical world events. Enemy at the Gates (2001), starring Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Joseph Fiennes, is inspired by a famous book by an American historian, William Craig. The film focuses on the final days of the battle of Stalingrad during World War II. Black Gold (2011) is an adaptation of Swiss author, Hans Ruesch's novel, discussing the beginnings of the oil industry in the Arabian Peninsula. Another of the director’s central topics is nature.
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 dialogue 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 collaborate on Wolf Totem (2015) despite his being banned from entering China.
 
The Bear / L'ours / Medvěd (France) Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud (Tribute to Jean-Jacques Annaud )
Quest for Fire / La guerre du feu / Boj o oheň (Canada, France, USA) Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud (Tribute to Jean-Jacques Annaud )
Wolf Totem / Wolf Totem / Talisman vlků (China, France) Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud (Tribute to Jean-Jacques Annaud )
 
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