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Biography
French director Jean-Jacques Annaud received his training in the nuts-and-bolts aspects of filmmaking through his many army training films and TV commercials. Annaud's feature film debut, Black and White in Color (1976), an amusing but affectionate look at French national chauvinism which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Picture. Annaud's tastes have run to "long ago and far away" story material, though unlike his Hollywood contemporaries, he refuses to "pretty up" historical films with modern facial makeup and attractive clothing. We fully believe that his Quest for Fire (1981) took place 80,000 years ago amongst hirsute human beings just one step above primates; and we accept such big-name stars as Sean Connery and F. Murray Abraham as pasty-faced, gargoylish 14th century monks in Annaud's The Name of the Rose (1986). The director was honored with the French Cesar award for both of these productions, and would win a third Cesar for his outdoors adventure The Bear (1989). Annaud later stylishly explored sexual matters with The Lover, an adaptation of Marguerite Duras' bestselling novel. More recently, he turned to the Canadian-invented technology IMAX for his 40-minute 3-D feature Wings of Courage.

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