Two Brothers, Two Fine French Filmmakers

Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with director Patrice Leconte (“Man on the Train”) and found him to be one of the most affable, enthusiastic conversationists I’ve encountered among movie-folk.

This morning I got up at 6AM to talk with Jean-Jacques Annaud, director of the new family-friendly film “Two Brothers,” as well as the acclaimed director of “The Name of the Rose,” “The Bear,” “The Lover,” and “Enemy at the Gates.”

Annaud too proved to be one of the world’s nicest guys — gracious, generous, and eloquent. He’s the kind of guy that makes an interviewer feel good, because he takes half-decent questions and gives far more elaborate and rewarding answers than the questions deserved.

Unfortunately, the cassette recorder I was using for the conversation was picking up some kind of feedback and I can BARELY HEAR WHAT HE SAID. So I’m going to spend a good deal of time this weekend listening to blasts of static, trying to salvage the better moments of the interview.

So, for now, suffice to say that Monsieur Annaud is a thoughtful, delightful, adventurous artist with a vision to create more complicated, more spiritually challenging, more appropriate films for younger viewers, even as he challenges grownups to develop the better parts of their nature and leave their baser appetites behind when they go to the cinema.

Go see “Two Brothers” this weekend. I’m going to see it tomorrow. I know it’s going to be good because Annuad’s a fine director, he’s got the great cinematographer of Patrice Leconte films this time around (Jean-Marie Doujou, “Man on the Train”), he’s got two charming stars (a pair of tiger cubs), he’s got Guy Pearce as the primarly human character, and he’s got a marvelous Cambodian backdrop. Should be the sort of vacation we’ve all been needing from painful news headlines and disappointing movies.

Don’t follow the mindless droves to see “White Chicks”… I can already smell that crap from here. Treat the kid inside of you to Jean-Jacques Annaud’s idea of a good family film.

I’ll have a review in a couple of days.

Tonight, however, I gotta go see this Michael Moore film for myself.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    I was using a typical handheld tape recorder, the kind that uses a full-size audio cassette, and using a common Radio Shack phone-tap wire (the kind that attached to the receiver with a suction cup.) It’s never failed me before, but I’m thinking that because I was sitting near my computer, it was causing some kind of static on the line that wasn’t there when I tested the recorder earlier elsewhere in the house earlier this morning. Oh well… live and learn. I’m going to make an mp3 of the interview and work on it in a sound editing program to see if I can filter out some of the noise.

  • Joel

    crap, i didn’t mean to remove my comment.

    basically it said i’ve had trouble recording phone interviews too. how do you do it?