Jacques Brunius

Jacques B. Brunius, French actor, director and writer, was born Jacques Henri Cottance in Paris on September 16, 1906, and died in Exeter, Devon (UK), on April 24, 1967.[1] He was cremated in Sidmouth, with a tribute by Mesens.[2]

Assistant director to Luis Buñuel on L'Âge d'or, he appeared in more than 30 movies, using several alternate names: Jacques Borel, J.B. Brunius, Jacques-Bernard Brunius, Jacques Brunius, Brunius, J.B.Brunius.[3] He acted in many of the early, more political, movies of his friend Jean Renoir. During World War II he broadcast from England to France over Radio Londres.[4] He married French-English actress Cecile Chevreau in 1951.[5] Their son Richard was born in 1956.

Member of the surrealist group in France and then in England, with his friend E.L.T. Mesens, Conroy Maddox, Ithell Colquhoun, Simon Watson Taylor and Roland Penrose. Brunius attacked Toni del Renzio, who was married to Colquhoun and who was attempting to reanimate an inactive English group in 1942–3. Brunius' countersigned the tract Idolatry and Confusion, which condemned and mocked del Renzio unjustifiably. In reality, Mesens feared a takeover of the group leadership by del Renzio.

He never missed an opportunity to defend surrealism, and participated in many a radio show.[6][7] In 1959, he undertook a vigorous defense of the poetic valor of nursery rhymes.

The text was published by John Lyle in Transforma(c)tion n°7 under the title Language and lore of children.




  • 1953: The Blakes Slept Here
  • 1952: Brief City
  • 1952: To The Rescue
  • 1951: The Changing Face of Europe (3rd segment: "Somewhere to Live")
  • 1939: Violons d'Ingres (also as writer and editor)
  • 1936: La Vie est à nous (a.k.a. The People of France) (also as writer and editor)

Assistant director

  • 1930: L'Âge d'or (a.k.a. The Golden Age), dir. Luis Buñuel.
  • 1929: Le Requin

Radio Producer

  • 1954 February 7 : Le docteur Miracle, two operas by Bizet and Lecocq, BBC Third Programme
  • 1966 Christmas Day : Special Day on Lewis Carroll, France Culture


  1. "Jacques Brunius". BFI.
  2. Levy, Silvano; Maddox, Conroy (13 March 2019). "The Scandalous Eye: The Surrealism of Conroy Maddox". Liverpool University Press via Google Books.
  3. "L' Âge d'or (1930)". BFI.
  4. Stourton, Edward (2017). Auntie's War: the BBC during the Second World War. London: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-857-52332-7.
  5. "Jacques B. Brunius papers, 1929-1967 2617". www.libraries.psu.edu.
  6. "The Critics". 9 October 1959. p. 22 via BBC Genome.
  7. "In Defence of Surrealism". 26 August 1960. p. 31 via BBC Genome.
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