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French With Indian Soul – Jean Jacques Annaud – A Master Of French Cinema

salad bowl and french fries served on table in cafe


At first strive to know that mystic thread which binds all different shapes, colours and sizes.

ATHARVEDA 10-08-37

It was a great opportunity to meet jean Jacques Annaud the world-famous French director who was in India in March ’96 ‘along with his panorama of films. At Delhi

It was like meeting an old friend I have lost track of in my previous birth whom I found in a French body with divine Indian ethos, which is currently mine.

Time and cross-cultural gaps suddenly vanished and we enjoyed the movement of togetherness in close soul searching talks on different subjects related to the worldview which is held by Annaud and which makes the central fibre of his works.

All of Annaud’s films revolve around the cross-cultural dilemma posed to us by the varied shapes and shades of TIME on human animals and life in this cosmos. These conflicts disappear as soon as we reach the HIGHT in which we are the core element of this cosmic existence. We are otherwise also bound by this invisible thread, our loneliness, our miseries are part of our own creation, our own isolation, our own ignorance by which we have dissociated ourselves from the cosmic connection with every iota of this great creation of the great creator.

Annaud’s appearance in world cinema at this joke when cross-cultural conflict is a major issue in all the societies of the world has special significance to our time. He makes films intuitively and his films are having his marks like an author. We can not only see them but fear and smell their fragrance.

He has studied Anthropology. Philosophy and social sciences and have helped him in formulating his material which has a visual appeal and strong intellectual metaphoric meaning.

Annaud raises different questions in his cinema, in his film “The name of the rose” which won the prestigious “CESAR Award for the best foreign film in 1987”, he talks about dying of monks who have to decide who is guilty by referring the books which are poisoned by the rule. The film is based after umber to eco’s novel and raises a moral question that is guilty the time, the oppressive nature or the interpretation in a metaphoric manner.

Another film “The Bear” which also won Cesar’s award for best director in 1989. He is narrating to us a story in which polar bears and a bear Cub are encountering hunters who are selfish. In a chance encounter, the mighty bear forgives the hunter who had become helpless. This humility changes the heart of the hunters. The story is very touching and with very few dialogues and is enjoyed by different cultural audiences, speaking different languages.

Annaud’s film “The Lover” which he made after the novel by famous French novelist “Marguerite Duras” is a love Saga made by him to explain the meaning of love to his daughter.

The film is set in the backdrop of 1920 in Indo-China. A young teenage girl at the end of her school holiday going back to Saigon. While crossing the Mekong on the ferry she meets Thirty-two-year-old married Chinaman who offers to drive the young girl to Saigon. They enter into a relationship which they are unable to define. For one and a half years, they are together and the mystery is unfolded when the young girl returns back to Europe in the same liner from Saigon harbour. The girl starts crying as she realizes that she was in love Annaud has commented on the chemistry of love which we are unable to express and suffer. The film is beautifully made and the changing moods of nature with the changing moods experienced by the young girl are woven together to form a holistic experience.

Cinema for Annaud is a constant play of images searching for love, communication, togetherness and understanding. His films like Quest for fire “after Rosny Aine’s novel deal with basic human nature.

Annaud has searched the people’s behaviour and is able to conclude that the truth in human behaviour lies in their deeds and not in what they say.

Annaud was critical about the way cinema is functioning today in Hollywood and told that deer depths of Art and humanity to be searched in cinema then the surface Reality depicted in Hollywood stuff. The thoughts are similar to classic directors like Ingmar Bergman and Kumar Shahani.

Talking about his new film “Seven Years in Tibet” based on an Autobiographical novel by Austrian writer “Henry Harrier” he said that his films are always having autobiographical elements.

This film is shot in Leah and Tibet will be having more cross-cultural issues which are favourite subjects of his world view.

Source by Shailendra Tiwari

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