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Raúl Ruiz

Raúl Ruiz

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Also Known As: Raoul Ruiz Died: August 19, 2011
Born: July 25, 1941 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Puerto Montt, , CL Profession: director, playwright

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Rising to international prominence in the early 1980s, Raul Ruiz proved one of the most exciting and innovative foreign filmmakers, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. Slashing his way through celluloid with machete-sharp sounds and images, Ruiz was a guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaulted the preconceptions of film art. This frightfully prolific figure - he made over 50 films in 20 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.Born June 25, 1941 in Puerto Montt, Chile, Ruiz's career began in the avant-garde theater where, from 1956 to 1962, he wrote over 100 plays. Although he never directed any of these productions, he did dabble in filmmaking in 1960 and 1964 with two short, unfinished films. With the 1968 release of his first completed feature, "Tres tristes tigres," Ruiz, along with Miguel Littin and Aldo Francia, was shot to the forefront of Chilean film. A committed leftist who supported the Marxist government of Salvador Allende, Ruiz was forced to flee his country during the fascist...

Rising to international prominence in the early 1980s, Raul Ruiz proved one of the most exciting and innovative foreign filmmakers, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. Slashing his way through celluloid with machete-sharp sounds and images, Ruiz was a guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaulted the preconceptions of film art. This frightfully prolific figure - he made over 50 films in 20 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.

Born June 25, 1941 in Puerto Montt, Chile, Ruiz's career began in the avant-garde theater where, from 1956 to 1962, he wrote over 100 plays. Although he never directed any of these productions, he did dabble in filmmaking in 1960 and 1964 with two short, unfinished films. With the 1968 release of his first completed feature, "Tres tristes tigres," Ruiz, along with Miguel Littin and Aldo Francia, was shot to the forefront of Chilean film. A committed leftist who supported the Marxist government of Salvador Allende, Ruiz was forced to flee his country during the fascist coup of 1973. Living in exile in Paris for the rest of his life, he found a forum for his ideas in European television. His first great European success came with "The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting" (1978), a puzzling black-and-white film adapted from a novel by Pierre Klossowski, constructed in a "tableaux vivants" style that told the enigmatic story of a missing 19th-century painting.

Influenced by the fabulist tradition that ran through much Latin American literature - which Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Alfonso Reyes all cited as influences - Ruiz was a poet of fantastic images whose films slipped 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 odd Wellesian angles and close-ups, bewildering POV shots, dazzling colors, and labyrinthine narratives which weaved and dodged the viewer's grasp with every shot.

As original as Ruiz was, one saw the diversity of his influences; in addition to adapting Klossowski, he was inspired by Franz Kafka (1971's "La Colonia Penal" was a Chilean reworking of "The Penal Colony"), Racine, Calderon, Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Orson Welles (whose "F For Fake" was a precursor of "The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting "), and Hollywood B-movies (Roger Corman was executive producer on 1983's "The Territory"). Like Jean-Luc Godard - whom Ruiz named as an early influence and who also owed a debt to B-films - Ruiz made no differentiation between the "high art" of Racine or Calderon and the "low art" of Roger Corman. Unfortunately, only a handful of Ruiz's films were available for viewing in America, and it was on these few films that his reputation was built in the U.S. The few works that were available, however, bore witness to the genius that informed his entire body of work. The filmmaker passed away at age 70 on Aug. 19, 2011 in his beloved Paris.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

6.
  Klimt (2007)
7.
8.
9.
10.
  Ce Jour-la (2003) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Red Dove, The (1989)
2.
 Los Naufragos del Liguria (1985) Midshipman
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Worked in Chile as TV news editor and soap screenwriter
:
Became associated with other future directors such as Miguel Littin, Pedro Chaskel and Aldo Francia
1968:
Made first completed feature film, "Tres tigres tristes/Three Sad Tigers"
1970:
After election of Allende, began working with state film agency, Chile Films
1973:
Fled Chile after overthrow of Allende; moved to Germany
1974:
Settled in Paris
1978:
Received recognition in Europe for "Hypothèse du tableau volé, L'/The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting," a puzzling black-and-white film adapted from a novel by Pierre Klossowski
1981:
Directed and co-wrote "The Territory"
1985:
Appointed co-director of Maison de Culture, Le Havre, France
1991:
Shot first feature in US, "The Golden Boat"
1996:
Helmed "Three Lives and Only One Death," Marcello Mastroiani's penultimate film
1997:
Directed "Genealogies of a Crime," starring Catherine Deneuve
1999:
Once again directed Catherine Deneuve in "Time Regained/Le Temps retrouvé," an adaptation of the final volume of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
2000:
Helmed "Comédie de l'innocence/Comedy of Innocence," starring Isabelle Huppert
2006:
Helmed the feature, "Klimt," starring John Malkovich as the Austrian painter
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Education

University of Chile: -
University of Iowa: Iowa City , Iowa -

Notes

Ruiz received the 1997 National Art Award presented biennially by the Chilean government which included $25,000 cash and a yearly pension of $1,200 a month.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Valeria Sarmiento. Filmmaker, editor. Edits most of Ruiz's films.

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