×

Brach dies at 79

Scribe known for 'Name of the Rose,' Polanski pics

PARIS — French screenwriter Gerard Brach, who penned Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Quest for Fire” and “The Name of the Rose” and nine of Roman Polanski’s features, died Sept. 9 in a Paris hospital of cancer. He was 79.

In a nation where the writer-director is king, Brach stuck to scripting, providing the written templates for well-regarded visual stylists.

In addition to Polanski (“Repulsion,” 1964; “Cul de sac,” 1966; “The Fearless Vampire Killers or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck,” 1967; “What?” 1973; “The Tenant,” 1976; “Tess,” 1979; “Pirates,” 1986; “Frantic,” 1988; “Bitter Moon,” 1992) and Jean-Jacques Annaud (“The Bear,” 1988; The Lover,” 1992), he worked with Marco Ferreri (“Bye Bye Monkey,” 1977), Michelangelo Antonioni (“Identification of a Woman,” 1982), Andrei Konchalovsky (“Maria’s Lovers,” 1984; “Shy People,” 1987) and Claude Berri (“The Two of Us,” 1968; “Jean de Florette” and “Manon of the Spring,” 1986).

Popular on Variety

Brach stepped behind the camera only twice, in 1970 for “La maison,” starring Michel Simon, and a year later for “Le bateau sur l’herbe,” starring Jean-Pierre Cassel. Neither film made much of a commercial dent.

Brach, who was born in the Paris suburb of Montrouge in 1927, contracted tuberculosis at age 18 and spent five years in a sanatorium, reading voraciously and investigating the surrealism movement that would influence his work.

Brach worked as a production assistant in the 1950s, then as an inhouse publicist at 20th Century Fox from 1959-1962.

In 1963, Polanski asked him to write “La Riviere de diamants” for the omnibus film “The World’s Greatest Swindles” and a three-decade partnership was born.

Brach, who had agoraphobia from the early 1970s on, rarely left his Paris apartment, resulting in a mystical insularity some believe is reflected in his writing.

Annaud is currently in production on Brach’s final screenplay, the French-language “Sa majeste Minor,” (His Majesty Minor), lensing in Spain.

More Film

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    HBO Seeks Dismissal of Michael Jackson Estate's Suit Over 'Leaving Neverland'

    HBO urged an appeals court on Friday to throw out litigation brought by the Michael Jackson estate over the 2019 documentary “Leaving Neverland.” HBO and the Jackson estate have been locked in a legal war ever since the premium cable network agreed to run the documentary, which chronicles child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson. The [...]

  • Denzel Washington

    Film News Roundup: Denzel Washington-Rami Malek Thriller Set for Early 2021 Release

    In today’s film news roundup, a Denzel Washington-Rami Malek thriller gets a release date, “Escape Room 2” gets moved, Paramount sets a double feature, “So Cold the River” wraps and the Sonoma Film Festival unveils its lineup. RELEASE DATES Warner Bros. has set the Denzel Washington-Rami Malek police thriller “The Little Things” for a Jan. 29, [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Says It Helped Negotiate 100 Deals for Agent-Less Members

    The Writers Guild of America has asserted that it has assisted in negotiating more than 100 deals in recent months for members without agents. The missive from the WGA West board of directors comes nearly a year after the guild leaders ordered their 15,000 members to fire their agents if the agents had not agreed [...]

  • the jesus rolls

    Émilie Simon Contributes Flamenco/Gypsy Vibe to John Turturro's ‘The Jesus Rolls’

    For French musician Émilie Simon, the flamenco-meets-gypsy vibe writer-director John Turturro was seeking for the soundtrack to his movie “The Jesus Rolls” turned out to be in her musical and genetical DNA. “This music originally comes from where I grew up in the south of France,” says the 41-year-old electronic musician, who has released five [...]

  • My Hero Academia Heroes Rising

    'My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising' ADR Director on Adapting the Anime for a U.S. Audience

    “My Hero Academia” has officially Detroit Smashed into North American theaters. Sony Pictures Television’s Funimation released “Heroes Rising” in the U.S. on Wednesday, grossing $2.5 million on its opening day. Theaters are showing the film, a standalone entry in the popular superhero anime based on the manga, with options for either subtitles or with an [...]

  • Lost in America

    'Lost in America': Film Review

    You might feel a sense of shame watching Rotimi Rainwater’s “Lost in America,” an expansive documentary look at the issue of youth homelessness in a country where the problem seems unthinkable, and its victims are so often invisible. You are likely to ask yourself how many times you have passed by a homeless child and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content