Raoul Ruiz

  • Raoul Ruiz – Mémoire des apparences AKA Life Is a Dream (1986)

    1981-1990DramaFantasyFranceRaoul Ruiz

    Raúl Ruiz’s baroque mix of revolutionary politics, pop culture and semiotics is loosely based on the play La vida es sueño (Life is a Dream) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. In this 17th-century classic, a young prince learns that life is but a dream from which we wake when we die, and that dreams may be as real as life.

    Ruiz’s Prince is a Chilean revolutionary in hiding who spends his time in a run-down movie theatre watching old Flash Gordon serials while trying to remember a secret code he once memorized using Life is a Dream as a mnemonic device.Read More »

  • Jean Rouch & Raoul Ruiz & Titte Törnroth – Brise-glace (1988)

    1981-1990DocumentaryExperimentalJean RouchRaoul RuizSwedenTitte Törnroth

    Beyond a film, Icebreaker is in 1987 the first media composition, construction of 3 original works made on the Swedish icebreaker Frej, and involving the main means of expression. “Bateau Givre” by Jean Rouch (35′), carries the principles of direct cinema. Rouch discovers in his camera, without the artifice of a commentary, without the help of a third language, the work and the days of the icebreaker and the men who serve it. “Hans Majestäts Statsisbrytaren Frej” by Titte Törnroth (20′), offers a second approach, where the characters, who have acquired a mysterious presence with Rouch, evoke their work, their emotions, in their activities as well as in their moments of relaxation. This film answers the questions left unanswered in the previous one. Raoul Ruiz’s “Tales of Ice” (34′); when the viewer thinks he has gone around a reality that has become familiar, makes it tip over into a profusion of fictions; three stories weave together in this fantastic film where ice plays the central role, where the icebreaker becomes a strange vessel wandering on the edge of the world.Read More »

  • Raoul Ruiz – Días de campo AKA Days in the Country [Rai3] (2004)

    Raoul Ruiz2001-2010ArthouseChileDrama

    We are in Santiago, Chile, in a bar. Two old men talking and drinking. It seems that one of them is writing a novel. In bizarre conversation, they speak of themselves as if they were already dead while the would-be novelist, Don Federico, dips match sticks with tweezers into his wine glass. A curious strangeness settles in… where are we, exactly? In the kingdom of the dead? Not quite. At most, in a previous life or in memory. For Don Federico begins to evoke the days of his youth back when he lived in the country.Read More »

  • Raoul Ruiz – Les âmes fortes AKA Savage Souls (2001)

    2001-2010DramaFranceRaoul RuizRomance

    Les âmes fortes (2011)
    At a wake one night in 1945, a group of aged women recall the life of one of their number. Sixty years before, Thérèse was barely 20 years old when she eloped with her boyfriend, Firmin, a blacksmith, to Châtillon, a town in Provence. Here, she makes the acquaintance of the wealthy Madame Numance, who is known for her good deeds. Realising that Thérèse is pregnant and unemployed, Madame Numance insists that she moves into a house on her estate. Whilst Firmin resents the arrangement, Thérèse soon finds that she can exploit the situation, using her benefactor’s naivety and generosity for her own gain..Read More »

  • Raoul Ruiz – La ville des pirates AKA City of Pirates (1983)

    1981-1990ArthouseFranceRaoul Ruiz

    Raúl Ruiz’s City of Pirates is (de)composed under the sign of Surrealism, with its trust in ecstasy, scandal, the call of the wild, mystification, prophetic dreams, humour, the uncanny. Given the surprising swerves and disorientations evoking Buñuel and Dalí, and the confidence in a poetic discourse recalling Eluard and Péret, one wonders if Ruiz didn’t elaborate his scenario using the Surrealist mode of automatic writing. Troubled, graceful Isidore – Ducasse and Duncan? – is a purely Surrealist heroine, part Ophelia, Salomé, Bérénice, prone to trances, somnambulism, hysterical seizure, contact with the ‘other side’. Her calm violence links her to the real life murderesses – Germaine Berton, the Papin sisters – exalted by Breton’s circle, and by Jacques Lacan. Indeed, Lacan’s notion of a psychoanalysis in which the analyst stays off his patient’s wavelength, inspired by the idea of ‘surrealist dialogue’ in which paired monologues at cross purposes strike sparks of meaning off each other, underpins the scatty trajectory of Ruiz’s own graphomania, snared this time as the tale of a Pirate’s City.Read More »

  • Raoul Ruiz – Combat d’amour en songe AKA Love Torn in Dream (2000)

    1991-2000ArthouseFranceRaoul Ruiz

    Raul Ruiz’s Love Torn in a Dream is introduced with a fake newsreel, taking place in postwar France, in which the cast of the film meet with the producer, who explains the film’s complex weave of nine narratives. A diagram in which each story is represented by a letter of the alphabet explicates the intertwining of the nine tales. As the producer explains each actor’s role, the film begins. The stories, rooted in folklore, bump up against each other as the film leaps back in forth in time. They involve a jewel stolen from a painting, a mirror that “steals” what it reflects, a seminary student who dresses as a priest to hear the nuns’ confessions, brothers who combat each other in their search for a group of rings, a man whose everyday life is predicted by a website 24 hours in advance, a Catholic who finds out he’s really Jewish, and a treasure map that leads to a pirate’s chest. Each of the main cast members plays multiple roles. Ruiz veterans Melvil Poupaud and Elsa Zylberstein play the lead roles, while Lambert Wilson, Christian Vadim, Diogo Dória, José Meireles, and Rogério Samora play supporting roles.Read More »

  • Raoul Ruiz – The Golden Boat (1990)

    1981-1990ArthouseDramaRaoul RuizUSA

    Inspired in form by American police TV shows and soap operas, The Golden Boat is a madcap, surreal dash through the streets of New York city, telling the mysterious and often hilarious story of an aged street-person named Austin, a comically compulsive assassin, as he joins up with a young rock critic and philosophy student named Israel Williams. In the course of their adventures, Austin pursues his object of desire – a Mexican soap opera star – and along the way engages a host of TV characters and bit players, whose repartee range from gangsterish insults to the question of God’s existence.Read More »

  • Raoul Ruiz – Trois vies et une seule mort AKA Three Lives and Only One Death [+Extras] (1996)

    1991-2000ArthouseComedyFranceRaoul Ruiz

    A cleverly composed, prefiguring episode in Three Lives and Only One Death shows Mateo Strano (Marcello Mastroianni) in simultaneous, tripartite images (in a similar vein as Alain Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad and Lina Wertmüller’s Love and Anarchy) through mirrors and split-screening as he continues to awkwardly fidget with his necktie even after a secondary point-of-view shot indicates that he has already placed his hands on the dinner table while waiting for his wife, Maria (Marisa Paredes) to return to the room.Read More »

  • Luis Ospina & Raoul Ruiz – Capítulo 66 (1994)

    1991-2000ColombiaExperimentalLuis OspinaRaoul RuizShort Film

    A wild short made as part of a filmmaking workshop that Raúl Ruiz ran in Bogotá in October 1993.Read More »

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