Raoul Ruiz Poster


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Overview (3)

Born in Puerto Montt, Chile
Died in Paris, Ile-de-France, France  (lung infection)
Birth NameRaúl Ernesto Ruiz Pino

Mini Bio (1)

Chilean director Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaulted the preconceptions of film art, this frightfully prolific figure -he made over 100 films in 40 years- did not adhere to any one style of filmmaking. He worked in 35mm, 16mm and video, for theatrical release and for European TV, and on documentary and fiction features and shorts. His career began in avant-garde theatre where, between 1956 and 1962, he wrote over 100 plays. Although he never directed any of these productions, he did dabble in TV and filmmaking in the early 1960s. In 1968, with the release of his first completed feature, the Cassavetes-like Three Sad Tigers (1968), Ruiz became one of the key Chilean directors of New Latin American Cinema. A committed though critical supporter of the Marxist government of Salvador Allende, Ruiz was forced to flee his country after the fascist coup of 1973. Living in exile in Paris from that time onwards, he found a forum for his ideas in European TV and was championed by the critics of Cahiers du Cinéma, several of whom appeared in his first European successes, The Suspended Vocation (1978) and The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (1978), two enigmatic Pierre Klossowski adaptations. Between 1980 and his death in 2011, Ruiz was one of the world's most productive but least known auteurs, in part through a long-term working relationship with Portuguese producer Paulo Branco. Other regular collaborators included Ruiz's wife and editor Valeria Sarmiento, composer Jorge Arriagada, cinematographers Sacha Vierny, Henri Alekan and Ricardo Aronovich, writers Gilbert Adair and Pascal Bonitzer, and actor Melvil Poupaud. Key early works from this period included the surrealistic masterpieces Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983), City of Pirates (1983) and Manuel on the Island of Wonders (1984), three of his many French-Portuguese co-productions perversely yet charmingly addressing the recurring Ruizian themes of childhood, exile, and maritime and rural folklore. In the 1990s, Ruiz embarked on larger projects with prominent actors such as John Hurt, Marcello Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert and John Malkovich, alternating this sporadic mainstream art-house endeavour with his usual low-budget experimental productions and the teaching of his Poetics of Cinema (two volumes of which he published in 1995 and 2007). In the 1990s and 2000s, he also shot several films and TV series' in Chile, though usually without Chilean funding. Ruiz is beloved among cinephiles as a poet of oneiric imagery and a fabulist of labyrinthine stories-within-stories whose films slip effortlessly from reality to imagination and back again. A manipulator of wild intellectual games in which the rules are forever changing, Ruiz's techniques were as varied as film itself; a collection of bizarre angles, close-ups and deep-focus compositions, bewildering POV shots, dazzling colours, and labyrinthine narratives which weave and dodge the viewer's grasp with every shot. As original as Ruiz was, one can tell much about him by the diversity of his influences; he was clearly inspired by Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Louis Stevenson, Orson Welles, "Left Bank" New Wave directors such as Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, and baroque low-budget Hollywood B-movie directors like Edgar G. Ulmer, Ford Beebe and Reginald Le Borg. His erudition also extended to medieval theology, Renaissance theatre and quantum physics. Ruiz remains a much-admired auteur on the European continent, having won prestigious prizes at Cannes, Berlin, San Sebastián, Locarno, Rome and Rotterdam. He is little-known in his native Chile, however, despite having made the widely seen Little White Dove (1973), receiving several major arts prizes and having a National Day of Mourning dedicated to him on the day of his burial there. In the English-speaking world, only a handful of Ruiz's films have been distributed and it is on these few films that his reputation there is built: most notably, major art-house fare such as the Ophüls- and Visconti-inspired Marcel Proust's Time Regained (1999) but also Comedy of Innocence (2000), Klimt (2006) and Mysteries of Lisbon (2010) and straight-to-video thriller pastiches like Shattered Image (1998) and Blind Revenge (2009). Little of his huge oeuvre is available on DVD. The works that are, however, bear witness to Ruiz's unique genius.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous update of original Ruiz bio by Daniel Yates <kamerad76@hotmail.com>

Spouse (1)

Valeria Sarmiento (1969 - 19 August 2011) ( his death)

Trivia (18)

Retrospectives of his work have been held in Paris (1983), Alcalá de Henares (1983), New York (1989), Melbourne (1993), Mannheim-Heidelberg (2003), Rotterdam (2004), Buenos Aires (2004), Geneva (2005), Rome (2007), Valdivia (2008), Buenos Aires (2009), Santiago de Chile (2011), Valparaíso (2015) and Paris (March-May 2016). Following his death, tributes were paid to Ruiz in festivals in Rotterdam (January 2012), Toulouse (March 2012), New York (May 2012), Paris (July 2012), Lima (August 2012) and Santiago de Chile (August 2012).
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 55th Cannes International Film Festival in 2002.
Became co-director of the Maison de la Culture in Le Havre (August 1985).
Awarded the title of Docteur Honoris Causa by the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (2005), Professorship by the University of Aberdeen (2007) and Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad de Valparaíso (2011).
Received several honours in his native Chile, including the National Prize of Arts of the Representation and Audiovisual (1997) and the Art Critics Circle's Bicentennial Award for cinema (2010), sharing the latter with Valeria Sarmiento.
Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (for Creative Arts-Film) in 1983.
He was born in Puerto Montt, Chile, and raised in Valparaíso, Chile, where his father was a merchant marine whom he sailed with on his summer vacations around the world.
He studied law and theology at the University of Chile before spending a year at Fernando Birri's film school in Santa Fe, Argentina. He worked as an editor on Chilean TV news and as a writer for a Mexican soap opera produced by Televisa. He was employed by Chile Films, a state film agency.
He and his wife left Chile in 1973 after Allende's overthrown government for Paris, France where he remained for the rest of his life.
He was appointed director of the House of Culture in Le Havre, France by Jack Lang, the French cultural minister.
Lisbon, Portugal: Recuperating after undergoing life-saving surgery for liver cancer (and breaking one of his legs). [July 2010]
Spain: Presenting Mysteries of Lisbon (2010) at the San Sebastián International Film Festival. [September 2010]
Aberdeen, Scotland: Teaching film at the University of Aberdeen. [December 2008]
Paris, France: Participating in "Une semaine avec Raoul Ruiz et ses invités" France Culture radio programmes (guests included Catherine Deneuve and Pascal Bonitzer). [May 2011]
Santiago, Chile: Directing his stage play "Amledi, el tonto" for the Santiago a Mil International Theatre Festival. [December 2010]
Chile: Shooting Night Across the Street (2012). [March 2011]
Portugal: Shooting Mysteries of Lisbon (2010). [November 2009]
Valparaíso, Chile: Receiving Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Valparaíso. [March 2011]

Personal Quotes (1)

[on his film Three Sad Tigers (1968)] ...a film without a story. All elements of a story are there but they are used like a landscape and the landscape is used like a story.

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