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Raúl Ruiz (director)

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Other names
Raoul Ruiz


Raul Ruiz

Years active

Film director

University of Chile

Raul Ruiz (director) Ral Ruiz Chilean Director Dies at 70 The New York Times

Full Name
Raul Ernesto Ruiz Pino

25 July 1941 (
Puerto Montt, Chile

August 19, 2011, Paris, France

Valeria Sarmiento (m. 1969–2011)

Poetics of Cinema 1: Miscellanies, Sixto VI

Mysteries of Lisbon, Klimt, Time Regained, Night Across the Street, The Hypothesis of the Stol

Similar People
Valeria Sarmiento, Melvil Poupaud, Paulo Branco, Jorge Arriagada, John Malkovich

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 Ruiz (director) Ral Ruiz director Wikipedia


Raúl Ruiz (director) Raul Ruiz Director of Mysteries of Lisbon died Paris

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 the dictator Augusto Pinochet, Ruiz and his wife (fellow director Valeria Sarmiento) fled Chile and settled in Paris, France.

Raúl Ruiz (director) Cineplexcom Ral Ruiz

Ruiz soon developed a reputation among European critics and cinephiles as an avant-garde film magician, writing and directing a remarkable number of amusingly eccentric though highly literary and complex 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 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 (1979); 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.

Raúl Ruiz (director) Cineplexcom Ral Ruiz

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).

Raúl Ruiz (director) Raul Ruiz director Alchetron The Free Social Encyclopedia

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.

Raúl Ruiz (director) Raul Ruiz 19412011 Death of a LittleKnown Movie Master TIMEcom

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.


The most complete retrospective yet of Ruiz's work was held at the Cinémathèque française in Paris between 30 March and 30 May 2016. Another retrospective commemoration was held at Lincoln Center at the end of 2016 which ran during the week ending December 22.


  • 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 of Arts of the Representation and Audiovisual (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.
  • References

    Raúl Ruiz (director) Wikipedia

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