Two Interviews: Jean-Jacques Annaud and Louis Schwartzberg…

...the directors of Two Brothers and America's Heart and Soul, respectively.I've been scraping away at the hours for time to write reviews and edit this stuff, and I finally decided to post "almost-there" versions of the interviews, since the films may not be in theatres much longer.Anyway, I enjoyed both conversations, and I hope they shed some light on the films for you.Jean-Jacques AnnaudLouis SchwartzbergComing soon, my interviews with Patrice Leconte (Man on the Train, … [Read more...]

Learning Can Save Your Life: A Conversation with Filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud (2004)

This interview was originally published at Promontory Artists Association in 2004 upon the release of Jean-Jacques Annaud's film Two Brothers.-With his new film Two Brothers, French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud has produced one of the year’s best family films. My review of the film is here. I got up early to speak with Annaud by telephone this week. He was in France where it was already mid-afternoon. He spoke about the challenges of working with tigers, the themes that recur in his f … [Read more...]

Two Brothers (2004)

My review of Two Brothers was originally published at Christianity Today.-There are at least ten good reasons to go see Two Brothers, especially if you take children along for the ride. It's a delightful success thanks to …1. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud. The director's "grownups-only" films have been hit-and-miss affairs (The Name of the Rose, The Lover, Enemy at the Gates, Seven Years in Tibet), but his "all-ages" films are delightful, unusual, and exemplary. In 1988, he gave us T … [Read more...]

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." … [Read more...]

Enemy at the Gates (2001)

[This review was first published at the original Looking Closer website in March 2001.]-Ready to test your imagination?Picture Jude Law as a Russian shepherd-turned-sniper. Then imagine Ed Harris as a sinister German Nazi. Yeah, Enemy at the Gates, a new film by Jean-Jacques Annaud, asks you to suspend your disbelief with all of your might. We see several familiar Hollywood stars as characters of foreign origins, in an area of the battle where the U.S. never becomes a presence … [Read more...]