You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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).

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

  • Singapore Actor Aloysius Pang Dies at

    Singapore Actor Aloysius Pang Killed on Military Service, At 28

    Singapore actor, Aloysius Pang died Wednesday of injuries sustained while on military training in New Zealand. He was 28. Pang was best known for his appearance in movies “Young & Fabulous,” and “Timeless Love.” He also had a string of credits in Singapore TV series. Pang was involved in accident last week, while repairing a [...]

  • Alibaba Expands Film Investment, Loans $100

    Alibaba Expands Film Investment Plan, Loans $100 Million to Huayi Bros.

    Alibaba Pictures Group, the film business arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has struck a strategic co-operation deal with leading film studio Huayi Brothers. The deal terms include a $103 million (RMB700 million) loan to Huayi. Alibaba Pictures said the agreement was part of its recently announced strategy to be a part of major movies [...]

  • Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear

    Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear Ex'

    Netflix has added to its roster of Mandarin-language content with the acquisition of rights to Taiwanese dark comedy “Dear Ex.” The award-winning film will play out from Feb. 1. The story involves a recently bereaved widow and a gay man fighting over a dead man’s inheritance, with the woman’s teenage son caught in the middle. [...]

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content