Raoul Ruiz

Raoul Ruiz – La colonia penal aka The Penal Colony (1970)

Quote:
A foreign journalist arrives on a small Pacific island 200 miles off the coast of South America. Once a leper colony, the island was later transformed into a prison and then, under U.N. mandate, made into an independent republic. Yet despite democratic structures, the inhabitants–who speak a strange dialect composed of Spanish and English–still obey the old prison rules. After sending back detailed accounts of the torture and repression seen everywhere, the journalist realizes that she”s fallen into the trap created for her by the islanders: lacking natural resources, the island”s main export is news. The clearest anticipation of Ruiz”s later European work, The Penal Colony is a powerful document of the tensions and contradictions in Chile in the months before Allende”s electoral victory. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Klimt [Director’s Cut] (2006)

Synopsis
Ruiz, in an a propos to the film: ‘Above all this film should not be seen as a biography of the painter Gustav Klimt (what these days we call a ‘biopic’). It is indeed a fantasy or, if you prefer, a phantasmagoria, a fresco of real and imaginary characters revolving around a single point of focus: the painter Klimt. You see images in the film as if it were Klimt himself who is seeing them. Or rather who is dreaming them. Because this film will be a daydream: exuberance of colours, distortion of space, extreme complexity of camera movements. It would take too long to explain the processes I intend to use in order to record this era, one of the richest, most contradictory and most disturbing in the history of humanity.’ Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – La présence réelle AKA The Real Presence (1984)

From Jordi Torrent’s program notes for “Raúl Ruiz: works for and about French TV,” at Exit Art (Nov 1987):

LA PRESENCE REELLE works through four axes of plot which are intercut throughout the film:
1. Adam Shaft, an out-of-work actor who recently worked on an interactive video disk documentary about the Avignon Theatre Festival, and who is now in a studio watching the program with the help of a computer specialist. Through conversations between Shaft and the computer specialist we find out that only 10% of time-space images in the video disk have been recorded from actual footage and the rest of the disk has been created by the computer using the ‘real presence’ of living beings. At one point Shaft complains because in the video disk his images are saying things that he never said. The computer specialist explains to him that his words have been used to create an entity that thinks and talks by itself, but that will not necessarily say things that Shaft would have thought or said. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Fado majeur et mineur AKA Fado, Major and Minor (1994)

Quote:
Ruiz returned to Portugal, the locale of many of his films, to adapt Dostoevsky’s The Eternal Husband, and the end product, Fado, Major and Minor, is among the most elliptical and intriguing works in his filmography. Jean-Luc Bideau stars as a tour guide who after blacking out returns to his apartment to find a mysterious intruder (Melvil Poupaud) who holds him accountable for the death of his lover. After premiering at Cannes, the film all but vanished due to rights issues, but it endures for Ruiz’s toggles between tragedy and farce, black and white and color, pop music and the traditional fatalistic sea shanties of its title. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Cofralandes, cuarta parte: Evocaciones y valses (2002)

This is the fourth in a series of seven projected video essays (four of which were completed) that Ruiz was commissioned to make in 2002-2003 for use among Chilean community organizations and broadcast on public television. Cofralandes, the head-title for each of the segments of Ruiz’s series, is taken from a song by Violeta Parra where it evokes the “land of milk and honey,” the “land of Cockayne,” the “green world” imagined by Gonzalo in The Tempest. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Cofralandes, segunda parte: Rostros y rincones (2002)

This is the second in a series of seven projected video essays that Ruiz was commissioned to make in 2002-2003 for use among Chilean community organizations and broadcast on public television. Cofralandes, the head-title for each of the segments of Ruiz’s series, is taken from a song by Violeta Parra where it evokes the “land of milk and honey,” the “land of Cockayne,” the “green world” imagined by Gonzalo in The Tempest. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Cofralandes, tercera parte: Museos y clubes en la región antártica (2002)

Quote:
For more than twenty years the films of Ruiz have led us into the fields of uninhibited delirium, free associations, and intricate games of collage. Ruiz, paying no heed to conventions, leads his audience into a labyrinth without a map, without warning and without an Ariadne allowed to help them retrace their steps. “Regulars only” seems to be the imperative which thrusts us into his creative world. However, it is a playful attitude that he proposes. Labyrinth, yes, but devouring monster, no — except the one we assemble ourselves from the fragments of mirrors that Ruiz has left scattered on the road. These fragments, their selection and random order, is indeed the art of Ruiz. Read More »