Raoul Ruiz

Poetics of Cinema 2 by Raúl Ruiz

Eleven years since the publication of Poetics of Cinema, Raúl Ruiz continues his articulate, erudite, and insightful rumination in Poetics of Cinema 2, a lithe and infectious, yet densely referential, cross-pollinated exposition on the art and nature of image-making in an age of an overexposed cinema that, in its aesthetic democratization and crass commercialization, has… read more »

Nucingen House, 2008

Structured as a tale within a tale, Raoul Ruiz’s fractured, defiantly illogical Nucingen House returns to the territory of On Top of the Whale and its otherworldly, tongue in cheek sense of foreboding in its hermetic construction of polyglot characters, suspended time, and inescapable limbo. Unfolding as a reconstructed memory told by an American gambler,… read more »

The Lost Domain, 2004

Recalling the whimsical, organic transections between past and present, dream and reality, literature and real-life of Raoul Ruiz’s earlier films Memory of Appearances and Time Regained, The Lost Domain is a more somber and pensive, yet still vibrant, impassioned, and intelligently constructed exposition on the process of maturation, the demystification of a childhood hero, and… read more »

Days in the Country, 2004

Continuing his preoccupation with the interpenetration of time and memory, fiction and reality of Time Regained (that would be further explored in the subsequent film The Lost Domain), Days in the Country marks Raoul Ruiz’s first Chilean feature film in thirty years. Perhaps inspired by the curious radio news broadcast of his own death, an… read more »

Ce jour-là, 2003

Auspiciously set in the nebulous and indeterminate milieu of “Switzerland, in the near future”, Raoul Ruiz’s eccentric, surreal fable opens to the shot of an abstracted and dotty young woman named Livia (Elsa Zylberstein) sitting on a park bench overlooking a fog obscured dirt road that is curiously located near the entrance of the San… read more »

Love Torn in Dream, 2000

Raoul Ruiz’s Love Torn in Dream is an inscrutably hypnotic, painterly, structurally organic, and logically impenetrable film that lyrically and visually conflates a series of historical periods, role-swapping character actors, and states of consciousness into a fanciful – albeit distended and maddeningly opaque – tale of love, fate, and destiny. Similar to Time Regained in… read more »

Genealogies of a Crime, 1997

A voiceover narration recounts an ominous, ancient oriental tale of a young man who was destined by the stars to kill a woman from the family of Liu Bao and who, in the aftermath of the commission, was sheltered from communal justice by a mysterious, accommodating woman. However, as the bizarre story unfolds, his new… read more »

Three Lives and Only One Death, 1996

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… read more »

The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting, 1978

An off-camera narrator is invited at the request of an unnamed art collector (Jean Rougeul) to study a series of seemingly innocuous paintings for which impeccably constructed tableaux vivants by an unremarkable nineteenth century artist named Frederic Tonnerre had once caused the artist to run afoul with French authorities. As the narrator critically surveys the… read more »

Dog’s Dialogue, 1977

Dogs’ Dialogue opens to a shot of an abandoned dog that has been tied to the structural frame of a discarded piece of broken furniture at a derelict open field, territorially barking to ward off an unleashed, stray dog hovering nearby. The image of vicious, primal social interaction carries through to an idiosyncratic visual transition:… read more »