Raúl Ernesto Ruiz Pino (French: Raoul Ruiz; 25 July 1941 – 19 August 2011) was an experimental Chilean filmmaker, writer and teacher whose work is best known in France. He directed more than 100 films.
Raúl Ernesto Ruiz Pino
25 July 1941
|Died||19 August 2011 (aged 70)|
|Other names||Raoul Ruiz|
|Alma mater||University of Chile|
|Style||Drama, comedy, experimental film|
The son of a ship's captain and a schoolteacher in southern Chile, Raúl Ruiz abandoned his university studies in theology and law to write 100 plays with the support of a Rockefeller Foundation grant. He went on to learn his craft working in Chilean and Mexican television and studying at film school in Argentina (1964). Back in Chile, he made his feature debut Three Sad Tigers (1968), sharing the Golden Leopard at the 1969 Locarno Film Festival. According to Ruiz in a 1991 interview, Three Sad Tigers "is a film without a story, it is the reverse of a story. Somebody kills somebody. All the elements of a story are there but they are used like a landscape, and the landscape is used like story." He was something of an outsider among the politically oriented Chilean filmmakers of his generation such as Miguel Littín and Patricio Guzmán, his work being far more ironic, surrealistic and experimental. In 1973, shortly after the military coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet, Ruiz and his wife (fellow director Valeria Sarmiento) fled Chile and settled in Paris, France.
Ruiz soon developed a reputation among European critics and cinephiles as an avant-garde film magician, writing and directing a remarkable number of amusing, eccentric, complex, and highly literary low-to-no-budget films in the 1970s and 1980s (often for France's Institut national de l'audiovisuel and then for Portuguese producer Paulo Branco). The best known of these often oneiric, fabulist films are: Colloque de chiens (1977), a short which marked the start of Ruiz's long-term working relationship with Chilean composer Jorge Arriagada; The Suspended Vocation (1978); The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (1978); On Top of the Whale (1982); Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983); City of Pirates (1983); Manoel's Destinies (1985); Treasure Island (1985) and Life is a Dream (1986). A special issue of Cahiers du cinéma was devoted to Ruiz in March 1983.
In the 1990s, Ruiz began working with larger budgets and "name" stars like John Hurt in Dark at Noon (1992) and Marcello Mastroianni in Three Lives and Only One Death (1996). The following year, he made Genealogies of a Crime starring Catherine Deneuve, winning the Silver Bear at the 47th Berlin International Film Festival. A second major French actress, Isabelle Huppert, worked with Ruiz on Comedy of Innocence (2000), which was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The American John Malkovich acted in the star-studded Marcel Proust adaptation Time Regained (1999) and the somewhat less successful Savage Souls (2001) and Klimt (2006). That Day (2003) was the fourth and last Ruiz film to be shown in the main competition of the Cannes Film festival. He also made forays into the English-language mainstream with the thrillers Shattered Image (1998) and A Closed Book (2010). In the final decade of his life, Ruiz wrote and directed several low-budget productions in his native Chile, but his final international success was the Franco-Portuguese epic Mysteries of Lisbon (2010).
Ruiz claimed that he was "always trying to make this connection between different ways of producing: film, theater, installations, and videos" – he hoped his "films would have to be seen many times, like objects in the house, like a painting. They have to have a minimum of complexity." Over the years, he taught his own particular brand of film theory, which he explained in his two books Poetics of Cinema 1: Miscellanies (1995) and Poetics of Cinema 2 (2007), and actively engaged in film and video projects with university and film school students in many countries, including the US, France, Colombia, Chile, Italy and Scotland.
Ruiz died in August 2011 as a result of complications from a lung infection, having successfully undergone a liver transplant in early 2010 after being diagnosed with a life-threatening tumour. The Presidents of France and Chile both praised him. The Church of Saint George-Paul in Paris held a memorial service which was attended by many notable friends, including Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Melvil Poupaud, Paulo Branco, Arielle Dombasle, Michel Piccoli and Jorge Edwards. Ruiz's body was then returned to Chile to be buried as specified in his will and a National Day of Mourning was declared in Chile.
Ruiz's final completed feature Night Across the Street (2012) was selected to be screened posthumously in the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. His widow Valeria Sarmiento, who was also his collaborator and frequent editor for several decades, completed Lines of Wellington (2012), the Napoleonic epic that Ruiz was preparing when he died and the film was in competition for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival and as a Zabaltegi Special at the 2012 San Sebastián International Film Festival. Both films were also shown at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2012 New York Film Festival.
On 25 July 2014, Serpentine Galleries in London launched "Pirates and Disappearances: A Homage to Raúl Ruiz", a weekend of Ruiz-related talks and screenings. The most complete retrospective yet of Ruiz's work took place at the Cinémathèque française in Paris between 30 March and 30 May 2016. Another retrospective commemoration was held at Lincoln Center in New York City which ran during the week ending 22 December 2016 with Part 2 in February 2018.
The feature film The Wandering Soap Opera, which Ruiz had shot in Chile in 1990 but left unfinished, was completed by Sarmiento and premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in August 2017. Ruiz's feature debut The Tango of the Widower and its Distorting Mirror, filmed in 1967 but shelved following budgetary problems, was restored by Sarmiento for a February 2020 premiere in the 70th Berlin International Film Festival.
A third Ruiz film, Socialist Realism as One of the Fine Arts, is currently being restored and completed by Sarmiento for an official premiere in 2021. Ruiz was not able to give the film a final edit as a result of the Chilean coup in 1973 and it was presumed lost for many years. A fifty-minute rough cut was shown at the Valdivia International Film Festival in 2008, but four-and-a-half hours of footage was recovered from the archives of Duke University in 2016.
- Three Sad Tigers tied with three other films for the 1969 Golden Leopard award at the Locarno Film Festival.
- 1979 César Award for best plot for a short film, for Colloque de chiens.
- Three Crowns of the Sailor won the Perspectives du Cinéma Award at the Cannes Film Festival (1983).
- Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts-Film (1983).
- Manoel's Destinies won the KNF Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival (1985).
- Three Lives and Only One Death (1996) won the Critics Award at the São Paulo International Film Festival.
- Genealogies of a Crime (1997) won the Silver Bear at the 47th Berlin International Film Festival.
- Chile's National Prize for Performing and Audiovisual Arts (1997)
- FIPRESCI Prize at the Montréal World Film Festival in 2000 "for brilliantly exploring the range of narrative possibilities of the cinema and celebrating and demonstrating the art of storytelling through the ages" in Love Torn in a Dream.
- At the Montréal World Film Festival (2002), Cofralandes, Chilean Rhapsody won the Glauber Rocha Award for the Best Film from Latin America and a FIPRESCI Prize "for the director's personal exploration into his homeland, using DV in a rigorous yet playful manner".
- Master of Cinema prize at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival (2003).
- Klimt won the Russian Film Clubs Federation Award at the 28th Moscow International Film Festival (2006).
- Master of Cinema prize at the Rome Film Festival (2007).
- Mysteries of Lisbon (2010) won the Silver Shell for Best Director at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, the Louis Delluc Prize for best French film and Critics Award for best film at the São Paulo International Film Festival.
- Posthumous Special Award at the 2011 New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
- La maleta (1963) – short film lost and completed in 2008
- Le retour (1964) – unfinished short film
- El tango del viudo y su espejo deformante [The Tango of the Widower and its Distorting Mirror] (1967) – unfinished and restored for a 2020 release
- Tres tristes tigres [Three Sad Tigers] (1968)
- La catanaria (1969)
- Militarismo y tortura (1969) – short film
- La colonia penal [The Penal Colony] (1970)
- Ahora te vamos a llamar hermano (1971) – short film
- Nadie dijo nada (1971)
- ¡Qué hacer! (1972)
- Los minuteros (1972) – short film
- Poesía popular: La teoría y la práctica (1972) – short film
- Abastecimiento (1973) – short film
- Palomita blanca [Little White Dove] (1973)
- Realismo socialista como una de las bellas artes [Socialist Realism] (1973) - being restored for a 2021 release
- Palomita brava (1973) – short film
- La expropiación [The Expropriation] (1974)
- Diálogos de exiliados [Dialogues of Exiles] (1975)
- Sotelo (1976) – short film
- Utopia (1976)
- Colloque de chiens (1977) – short film
- Les divisions de la nature (1978) – short film
- La vocation suspendue [The Suspended Vocation] (1978)
- L'hypothèse du tableau volé [The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting] (1978)
- Petit manuel d'histoire de France (1979)
- Jeux (1979)
- De grands événements et de gens ordinaires [Of Great Events and Ordinary People] (1979)
- Images de débat (1979)
- Zig-Zag – le jeu de l'oie (une fiction didactique à propos de la cartographie) (1980) – short film
- La ville nouvelle (1980) – short film
- Fahlstrom (1980) – short film
- Musée Dali (1980)
- L'image en silence (1980)
- Le borgne (1980)
- Teletests (1980) – short film
- The Territory (1981)
- Images de sable (1981) – short film
- Ombres chinoises (1982) – short film
- Querelle des jardins (1982) – short film
- Le petit théâtre (1982) – short film
- Het dak van de Walvis [On Top of the Whale] (1982)
- Bérénice (1983)
- La ville de Paris (1983)
- Lettre d'un cinéaste ou Le retour d'un amateur de bibliothèques [Letter from a Library Lover] (1983) – short film
- Les trois couronnes du matelot [Three Crowns of the Sailor] (1983)
- La ville des pirates [City of Pirates] (1983)
- Voyages d'une main (1984)
- Point de fuite [Vanishing Point] (1984)
- Les destins de Manoel [Manoel's Destinies/Manoel on the Island of Marvels] (1984)
- L'Île au trésor [Treasure Island] (1985)
- La présence réelle (1985)
- Régime sans pain (1985)
- L'éveillé du pont de l'Alma [The Insomniac on the Bridge] (1985)
- Richard III (1986)
- Mémoire des apparences [Life is a Dream] (1986)
- Dans un miroir (1986)
- Mammame (1986)
- Brise-glace (1987)
- La chouette aveugle [The Blind Owl] (1987)
- Le professeur Taranne (1987)
- Allegoria (1988)
- Tous les nuages sont des horloges (1988)
- Il pozzo dei pazzi (1989) – short film
- Derrière le mur (1989)
- Hub (1989)
- The Golden Boat (1990)
- La telenovela errante [The Wandering Soap Opera] (1990) – unfinished feature completed by Sarmiento and released in 2017
- A TV Dante (Cantos 9–14) (1991)
- Las soledades (1992) – short film
- L'oeil qui ment [Dark at Noon] (1992)
- Fado majeur et mineur [Fado, Major and Minor] (1994)
- Wind Water (1995) – short film
- Trois vies et une seule mort [Three Lives and Only One Death] (1996)
- Généalogies d'un crime [Genealogies of a Crime] (1997)
- Le film à venir (1997) – short film
- Shattered Image (1998)
- Le temps retrouvé [Time Regained] (1999)
- Comédie de l'innocence [Comedy of Innocence] (2000)
- Combat d'amour en songe [Love Torn in a Dream] (2000)
- Les Âmes fortes [Savage Souls] (2001)
- Miotte vu par Raúl Ruiz (2002)
- Cofralandes, rapsodia chilena [Cofralandes, Chilean Rhapsody] (2002)
- Ce jour-là [That Day] (2003)
- Une place parmi les vivants [A Place Among the Living/A Taste for Murder] (2003)
- Vertige de la page blanche [Vertigo of the Blank Page] (2003)
- Días de campo [Days in the Country] (2004)
- Le domaine perdu [The Lost Domain] (2005)
- Klimt (2006)
- Le Don (2007) – short film
- La Recta Provincia (2007)
- Litoral (2008)
- La maison Nucingen [Nucingen House] (2008)
- Agathopedia (2008)
- El pasaporte amarillo [The Yellow Passport] (2009)
- A Closed Book [Blind Revenge] (2010)
- L'estate breve (2010)
- Mistérios de Lisboa [Mysteries of Lisbon] (2010)
- Ballet aquatique (2011)
- La noche de enfrente [Night Across the Street] (2012)
- Raoul Ruiz; Benoît Peeters; Patrick Deubelbeiss (1989). Le Transpatagonien (in French). Casterman. ISBN 2203380144. Translated into Spanish as: Raúl Ruiz; Benoît Peeters (1995). El Transpatagónico. Grijalbo Mondadori. ISBN 956-262-097-2. Translated from the French by Cristóbal Santa Cruz.
- Raoul Ruiz (1990). Le livre des disparitions (in French). Dis Voir. ISBN 2906571180. Translated into English as: Raul Ruiz (2005). The Book of Disappearance & The Book of the Tractions. Dis Voir. ISBN 2914563191.
- Raoul Ruiz (1992). Le Convive de pierre (in French). Actes Sud. ISBN 2869431643.
- Raoul Ruiz (1995). Poétique du cinéma (in French). Dis Voir. ISBN 2-906571-37-7. Translated into English as: Raul Ruiz (1995). Poetics of Cinema 1: Miscellanies. Dis Voir. ISBN 2-906571-38-5. Translated from the French by Brian Holmes. Translated into Spanish as: Raúl Ruiz (2000). Poética del cine. Editorial Sudamericana. ISBN 956-262-097-2. Translated from the French by Waldo Rojas.
- Raoul Ruiz (1999). Entretiens (in French). Editions Hoebeke. ISBN 2842300823.
- Raoul Ruiz (2006). Poétique du cinéma 2 (in French). Dis Voir. ISBN 978-2-914563-27-7. Translated into English as: Raul Ruiz (2007). Poetics of Cinema 2. Dis Voir. ISBN 978-2-914563-25-3. Translated from the Spanish by Carlos Eduardo Morreo.
- Raoul Ruiz (2008). A la poursuite de l'île au trésor (in French). Dis Voir. ISBN 978-2-914563-39-0. Translated into English as: Raul Ruiz (2008). In Pursuit of Treasure Island. Dis Voir. ISBN 978-2-914563-41-3. Translated from the French by Paul Buck and Catherine Petit.
- Raúl Ruiz (2012). L'esprit de l'escalier (in French). Fayard. ISBN 9782213644363. Translated into English as: Raul Ruiz (2012). The Wit of the Staircase. Dis Voir. ISBN 2914563728. Translated from the French by Paul Buck and Catherine Petit.
- Raúl Ruiz (2013). Poéticas del cine (in Spanish). Ediciones Universidad Diego Portales (UDP). ISBN 978-956-314-218-1. Sections translated from the French by Alan Pauls.
- Raúl Ruiz (2017). Diario. Notas, recuerdos y secuencias de cosas vistas (in Spanish). Ediciones Universidad Diego Portales (UDP). Selection, editing and prologue by Bruno Cuneo.
- Raúl Ruiz (2019). Duelos y quebrantos (in Spanish). Mundana Ediciones. Edited by Bruno Cuneo.
- Raul Ruiz (2021). A Nine-Year-Old Aviator. Dis Voir. ISBN 978-2-914563-99-4. Translated from the Spanish by Paul Buck and Catherine Petit. Illustrations by Camila Mora Scheihing.
- "R.I.P. Raoul Ruiz, prolific and enigmatic director". avclub.com. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "The Raul thing". The Guardian. London. 7 January 2000. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Klonarides, Carole Ann http://bombsite.com/issues/34/articles/1391, BOMB Magazine Winter, 1991. Retrieved on 3 June 2013.
- Grimes, William (19 August 2011). "Raúl Ruiz, Prolific Director of Cryptic Films, Dies at 70". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Bergan, Ronald (19 August 2011). "Chilean-born film-maker who became the darling of the French avant garde". The Guardian. London. The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Cover of the 'Ruiz special'".[permanent dead link] Cahiers du cinéma, March 1983. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Berlinale: 1997 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Raoul Ruiz biography". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "A new face for film studies" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2011. University of Aberdeen magazine, 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Raoul Ruiz, French-Chilean Filmmaker, Dead at 70". Huffington Post. 19 August 2011. Huffington Post. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Piñera: Cine de Raúl Ruiz nos abrió el mundo". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. La Nación. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Beloved Chilean Filmmaker Raúl Ruiz Dies at 70". elrepuertero.cl. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Leffler, Rebecca (24 April 2012). "Cannes 2012: Michel Gondry's 'The We & The I' to Open Director's Fortnight". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "2012 Selection". quinzaine-realisateurs.com. Directors' Fortnight. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Passings: Raul Ruiz". Los Angeles Times. 20 August 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Macnab, Geoffrey (20 August 2012). "Raul Ruiz and the ghosts on the battlefield". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Venezia 69". labiennale.org. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- "Zabaltegi Specials". sansebastianfestival.com. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Programmer's Note". tiff.net. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "2012 New York Film Festival Line-Up Announced". collider.com. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Park Nights 2014". serpentinegalleries.org. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- "Raoul Ruiz". cinematheque.fr. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
- Richard Brody (2017). "The Memory Card". The New Yorker, 19 December 2016, p. 30.
- "Life Is a Dream: The Films of Raúl Ruiz (Part 2) Begins February 9". filmlinc.org. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "Chilean Master Raul Ruiz's Unfinished First Film Gets Restored and Scheduled for Premiere". The Hollywood Reporter. 3 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- "La Unidad Popular según Raúl Ruiz". La Tercera. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Cinema from Chiloé to Paris, "Raul Ruiz".
- "Diversos premios y una prolífica carrera marcaron la trayectoria de Raúl Ruiz" [Diverse Awards and a Prolific Career Marked the Path of Raúl Ruiz]. La Tercera (in Spanish). 19 August 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
- "28th Moscow International Film Festival (2006)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- "'Mysteries of Lisbon' nabs Louis Delluc prize". Variety. Variety. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Raoul Ruiz at IMDb
- MUBI's Ruiz page
- Annotated filmography (up to 2005) at Rouge online film magazine
- The rubicon and the rubik cube: Exile, paradox and Raúl Ruiz 1981/1982 article by Gilbert Adair
- Mapping the Territory of Râúl Ruiz 1987/1990 article by Jonathan Rosenbaum
- BOMB interview (1991) by Carole Anne Klonarides
- Sight & Sound interview (2002) by Nick James
- Cinema Scope interview (2002) by Jonathan Rosenbaum
- Towards a Perverse Neo-Baroque Cinematic Aesthetic 2004 article by Michael Goddard
- Vertigo interview (2004) by George Clark
- GreenCine interview (2006) by Jonathan Marlow
- Vertigo interview (2007) by James Norton
- New York Times interview (2011) by A. O. Scott
- Time magazine obituary (2011) by Richard Corliss
- Sight & Sound obituary (2011) by Jonathan Romney
- 'A Ghost at Noon' (2011) tribute by Adrian Martin