Updated Sunday August 21, 2011
The late Raúl Ruiz in conversation with Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli at the University of Aberdeen in 2007. One of the most prolific directors of the last 50 years, having written over 100 plays before starting in the cinema, Ruiz films have been characterized as ironic, surrealistic and deeply experimental.
Here is my own theoretical fiction: in the waking dream that is our receiving the film, there is a counterpart; we start projecting another film on the film. I have said to project and that seems apt. Images that leave me and are superimposed on the film itself, such that the double film - as in the double vision of Breton traditions - becomes protean, filled with palpitations, as if breathing. [Raúl Ruiz, 'The Face of the Sea (In Place of an Epilogue)', Poetics of Cinema 2]
Every time that a general theory or a fiction is elaborated I have the impression that ... there is a painting stolen, a part of the story or puzzle missing. The final explanation is no more than a conventional means of tying together all the paintings. It’s like the horizon: once you reach it, there is still the horizon. [Raúl Ruiz in L’Hypothèse du Tableau Volé/The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (Ruiz, 1979)]
... Raul Ruiz's comments on filmmaking outside metropolitan centres are revealing. He tells us how, when he was studying theater and film in Santiago with the aid of American textbooks, he was surprised to find "that the films we loved the most were badly made" - because they were not made according to the set of assumptions about action and behaviour in Central Conflict Theory." This led him to strategise that "every film is always the bearer of another, a secret film" and that "the strong points [of the inexplicit film] are found in the weak points of the apparent one." This argument seems to be not just about how fascination presents itself in film; it also suggests that fascination (Ruiz calls it "the gift of double vision that we all possess") is not just an aesthetic project: It is, above all, a social and political project. [MA Abbas, 'Dialectic of Deception', Public Culture, 1999, v. 11 n. 2, p. 347-363, p. 360 citing Ruiz, A Poetics of Cinema, trans. by Brian Holmes, (Paris: Editions Di Voir, 1995); p. 11, 111, and 109 respectively:]Film Studies For Free is very sad to pass on news of the death of Chilean film director Raúl Ruiz in Paris after a long illness.
Film critic Dave Kehr points to the report in Le Monde in which Ruiz's producer, François Margolin, informed the French newspaper that the director "was in the midst of finishing the editing of a film he has shot on his childhood in Chile ... And he was preparing another film in Portugal, on a famous Napoleonic battle.” Perhaps we will get to see the first of these tantalising projects. FSFF very much hopes so.
Below is this blog's sincerely felt tribute to the brilliant Ruiz, one of the most memorable and talented of prolific filmmakers (and one of the most prolific of filmmakers against the odds): a list of links to online studies of the director's work, as well as to interviews with him, and writing by him. Further links will continue to be added here in the days and weeks to come.
Links to posthumous tributes to Ruiz, along with other material about his films, are being gathered by David Hudson at the Mubi Notebook.
Update (August 21, 2011): The list below was expanded with many additional entries, including, at the foot of the post, a number of documentaries about (and/or recordings of) Ruiz. Of particular note is the documentary Exiles: Raoul Ruiz Chilean Film Director (BBC, 1988, directed by Jill Evans), which contains many marvellous excerpts from Ruiz's films.
Also see Jonathan Rosenbaum's marvellous tribute to Ruiz, 'Ruiz Hopping and Buried Treasures: Twelve Selected Global Sites'.
You can watch Ruiz's Three Crowns of a Sailor (1983, circa 117 mins) online at present for free, too!
And Girish Shambu has just posted "A Ghost at Noon", a remarkable and very personal tribute to Ruiz by Adrian Martin (author or editor of many of the essays below).
- Raúl Ruiz, 'Three Thrusts at Excalibur', Screening the Past, Issue 26: Special Issue: Early Europe, 2009
- Raúl Ruiz, 'Palomita Blanca (Little White Dove, Chile, 1973)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Raúl Ruiz, 'El Realismo Socialista (Considerádo Commo Una de las Bellas artes) (Socialist Realism [Considered as One of the Fine Arts], Chile, 1973), Rouge, 2, 2004
- Raúl Ruiz, 'The Comedy of Shadows (La Comédie des ombres): Fragments of a Screenplay', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Raúl Ruiz, 'Las Soledades (The Solitudes, UK, 1992)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Raúl Ruiz, 'The Golden Boat (USA, 1990)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Raúl Ruiz, 'Handbook of French History (Petit manuel d’histoire de France, 2 part TV series, France, 1979)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Raúl Ruiz, 'Suspended Vocation (La Vocation suspendue, France, 1977)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Acquarello on Raúl Ruiz at Strictly Film School
- Barthélemy Amengual, 'The Expropriation (La Expropriacíon, Chile, 1971)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Michael J. Anderson, 'Three Crowns of the Sailor: A Resurfaced Masterpiece from Cinema's Forgotten Decade', Tativille, May 17, 2006
- BBC Radio Movie Café with Raul Ruiz and Alan Marcus Interviewed by Janice Forsyth (29 November 2007) (mp3)
- Cyril Béghin, 'Time Regained (Le Temps retrouvé, France, 1999)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Cyril Béghin, 'Treasure Island (L'île au trésor, France, 1986, released 1991)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Patrick Blaine, 'Reconstructing Resistant Memory in the Chilean Social Documentary: Guzmán and Ruiz', 2010 LASA Congress, Toronto, October 6-9, 2010
- Christine Buci-Glucksmann, 'La Querelle de jardins (Quarrel of Gardens, short, France, 1982)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Christine Buci-Glucksmann, 'Le Borgne (The One-Eyed Man, 4 episodes, France, 1980)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Christine Buci-Glucksmann, 'Les Divisions de la nature: Un homme, un château, ‘Chambord’ (The Divisions of Nature: A Man, a Castle, ‘Chambord’, short, France, 1978)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Maximilian Le Cain, 'Genealogies of a Crime (Génealogies d’un crime, France, 1997)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Robert Castle, 'Proust Regained: On Raul Ruiz's Time Regained and Filming the Unfilmable' Bright Lights Film Journal, 51, 2006
- Michael Chanan, 'New Cinemas in Latin America 1960-1995', from The Oxford History of World Cinema, ed. Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, OUP, 1996; Section 3, The Modern Cinema 1960-1995, pp.427-435
- Michael Chanan, 'Documentary film: Latin America', from Ian Aitken, ed., Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film, Routledge, 2006
- Ian Christie, 'Los Tres Tristes Tigres (Three Sad Tigers, Chile, 1968), Rouge, 2, 2004
- Ian Christie, 'The Penal Colony (La Colonia Penal, Chile, 1970)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Ian Christie, 'Dans un miroir (In a Mirror, short feature, France, 1984)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Ian Christie, 'The Real Presence (La Présence réelle, France, 1983)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Olivier Curchod, 'Bérénice (France, 1983)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Fergus Daly, 'Wind Water (aka Feng Shui, short, UK, 1996)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Fergus Daly, 'Manoel on the Island of Marvels (3 part TV series, France, 1985)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Thomas Elsaesser, 'Raoul Ruiz’s L’Hypothèse du Tableau Vole', European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood (Amsterdam University Press, 2005 - scroll down in PDF to p. 251)
- Thomas Elsaesser, 'The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (L’Hypothese du tableau volé, France, 1978)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Filipe Furtado, 'That Day (Ce jour-là, France, 2003)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Michael Goddard, 'Towards a Perverse Neo-Baroque Cinematic Aesthetic: Raúl Ruiz's Poetics of Cinema', Senses of Cinema, 30, 2004
- Michael Goddard, 'Hypothesis of the Stolen Aesthetics', Contretemps, July 2002
- Eleanor Kaufman, 'Deleuze, Klossowski, Cinema, Immobility: A Response to Stephen Arnott', Film-Philosophy, 5, 33, 2001
- Andreea Marinescu, Dialoguing across catasptrophes: Chilean Post-Coup and Post-Dictatorship Cultural Production in the works of Roberto Bolaño and Raúl Ruiz, PhD thesis, University of Michigan, 2010
- Jonathan Marlow, 'Raúl Ruiz and the Poetics of Cinema', GreenCine Daily, September 26, 2006
- Adrian Martin, 'A Place Among the Living (aka A Taste for Murder, Une place parmi les vivants, France/Rumania, 2003', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Adrian Martin, 'Responso: Homage to Huub Baals (video, work-in-progress, 2004)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Adrian Martin, 'Three Lives and Only One Death (Trois vies et une seule mort, France, 1996)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Adrian Martin, 'Dark at Noon or Eyes and Lies (L'œil qui ment, France, 1992)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Adrian Martin, 'A TV Dante (UK, 1989)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Adrian Martin, 'The Territory (Portugal/USA, 1981)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Adrian Martin, 'Great Events and Ordinary People (Des grands événements et des gens ordinaires: Les Élections, short feature, France, 1979)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Gonzalo Masa, 'Ruiz and the Devils: La recta provincia', Rouge, 11, 2007
- Abdelwahab Meddeb, 'Mirror of Tunisia/Tunisia, the Trance and the Stone (Miroir de Tunis/Tunis, la transe et la Pierre, Tunisia/France, 1993)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Jean Miotte, 'Miotte vu par Ruiz (Miotte by Ruiz, France, 2001)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Rouge #2, an annotated filmography of the work of Raúl Ruiz as a director, Rouge, 2, 2004
- Luc Moullet, 'The Blind Owl (La Chouette Aveugle, France/Switzerland, 1987)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Zuzana M. Pick, 'Chilean cinema: ten years of exile (1973-83)', from Jump Cut, no. 32, April 1987, pp. 66-70
- Zuzana Mirjam Pick, 'Dialogue of Exiles (Diálogo de exilados, France 1974)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Maxime Renaudin, 'Días de campo (Journées à la campagne, Days in the Country, Chile/France, 2004)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Michael Renov, 'History And/As Autobiography: The Essayistic in Film and Video', Framework, 2,3, 1989
- Bérénice Reynaud, 'Three Crowns of the Sailor (Les Trois couronnes du matelot, France, 1982)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, 'Ruiz Hopping and Buried Treasures: Twelve Selected Global Sites', JonathanRosenbaum.com, August 19, 2011
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, 'Mapping the Territory of Raúl Ruiz', JonathanRosenbaum.com, October 13, 1990
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, 'Trying To Catch Up With Raúl Ruiz: A Conversation with Jonathan Rosenbaum', Cinema Scope no. 11 (summer 2002)
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, 'Mammame (France, 1985)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, 'The Roof of the Whale aka On Top of the Whale (Hek dak van de Valvis/Le Toit de la baleine, Netherlands/France, 1981)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, 'Snakes and Ladders (Le Jeu de l’Oie: La Cartographie, short, France, 1980)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, 'Dogs’ Dialogue (Colloque de chiens, short, France, 1977)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Guy Scarpetta, 'Love Torn in Dream (Combat d’amour en songe, France/Portugal/Chile, 2000)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- A.O. Scott, 'A Mild Mannered Maniac: Interview with Raoul Ruiz', New York Times, July 31, 2011
- Clemente Sobourin, 'Cofralandes: Chilean Rhapsody (Cofralandes: Rapsodia Chilena, Chile/France, 2002)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Lesley Stern, 'Life is a Dream (Mémoire des apparences, France, 1986)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Charles Tesson, 'Letter from a Filmmaker, or The Return of a Library Lover (Lettre d’un cinéaste ou Le Retour d’un amateur de bibliothèques, short, France, 1983)', Rouge, 2, 2004
- Antonio Traverso, 'Contemporary Chilean Cinema and Traumatic Memory: Andrés Wood's Machuca and Raúl Ruiz's Le domaine Perdu', IMA, 2008
Centre for Modern Thought, University of Aberdeen: Tuesday 13th June 2006, Mr Raoul Ruiz, the distinguished film director spoke to us in broad terms about his work in film (he has directed almost 100 films) and film theory (he is the author of a multi-volume book entitled "The Poetics of Cinema").