In the cinema everything is possible: a maze in sp
Born in 1941 in Puerto Montt in Chile, the Chilean-French director Raoul Ruiz has directed for the cinema and television more than 100 films, in which he reflects upon the relativity of perception - upon the relationship between reality and fantasy. His films have won many awards, especially in the 90s, and are also philosophical treatises using the whole gamut of film resources.
Born in Chile in 1941, the Chilean-French director Raoul Ruiz has made more than 100 short and full-length films in the course of 40 years. International recognition has come to him mainly for films which he directed in the 90s. He uses the whole gamut of film resources in ´Trois vies et une seul mort´ (1995), ´Généalogies d´un crime (1996), ´Le Temps retrouvé´ (1999) and ´Fils de deux mères ou la comédie d´innocence´ (2000).
´Trois vies et une seul mort´ (´Three Lives and one Death´) from 1995, one of the last films with Marcello Mastroianni in the main role, shows Ruiz as a master of deception. In four tales, which at first seem to have nothing to do with one another, Marcello Mastroianni plays a man with several lives but a single death. Only gradually does it become clear that all the parts played by Mastroianni are facets of a multiple personality. As in many other films from this Chilean-French filmmaker, the border between reality and fantasy is unclear.
This is especially true of ´Le Temps retrouvé´ (´Time Recollected´), a film approximation to Marcel Proust´s ´In Search of Lost Time´. This film, which appeared in 1999, is a symphony of images and associations. It begins as a recollection in Proust´s mind, as he is dying in bed and being cared for by his devoted maidservant, Céleste. He feverishly recalls the folk whom he loved, with whom he has spent his life, and who have long since become the heroes of his novel. Once the viewer has given up all hope of a linear tale and no longer tries to identify the characters in this Proustean universe, he can yield to a symphony of images. ´Le Temps retrouvé´ is associative like memories, and its images are in continual motion. A complex system of rails enables Ruiz to shift tables, chairs and indeed whole rows of listeners at a concert of chamber music in front of the camera, to lend motion to even static events, which in memory are never static. The spatial relationships between people dissolve. Surrealistic sequences are combined with theatrical effects, and over everything hovers an atmosphere of decadence.
Compared to the sumptuously set film ´Le Temps retrouvé´, the film ´Fils de deux mères ou comédie de l´innocence´ (2000) seems almost to be a chamber-work. Here too Ruiz is concerned with dissolving certainties. On his ninth birthday, the little Camille no longer responds to his name. Instead he renames himself Paul and addresses his mother as ´Ariane´. Soon he maintains that he is not even her son and takes her to a little known borough, where he is joyfully embraced by a woman, who claims him as her own long-missing son. Here too Ruiz uses props and surreal images to create an atmosphere of suspended logic. The child finds it easy to move between the world of waking and the world of dream, which to grown-ups are poles apart. But Ruiz finally gives a rational explanation for the lad´s odd behaviour.
As the title of his next film suggests, everything in ´Combat d´amour en songe´ (´Dream Combat of Love´) is part of a dream. There is no longer any attempt to shape a linear tale in the spirit of Aristotle. Ruiz follows the simultaneity of dream-experiences and dissolves the usual parameters of the space-time continuum. Things appear and disappear, folk move from one time or place to another and change their identities. Antique philosophers talk nonsense, and the Devil appears in various forms in his efforts to be tempting. Many figures appear from the history of literature and film: pirates, robbers, studious priests, nuns, converted Jews and courtesans, cannibals and barkeepers, indeed even a kleptomaniac mirror, a living image, a prophetic web-site and 22 rings in not always transparent roles. And whenever a tale seems about to grow clear, there is suddenly an absurd twist. With this maze in space and time, Ruiz once more proves his own credo: ´In the cinema everything is possible.´ (Cited from ´Raoul Riaz´, by Christine Buci-Glucksmann and Fabrice Revault D´Allonnes, Paris, 1987)
Events at the HKW:
Neuer chilenischer Film 1968 1993
Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 1994
Tres tristes tigres / Drei traurige Tiger
Sonntag, 4. Dezember 1994
La expropiación / Die Enteignung
Veranstalter: Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Zusammenarabeit mit den Freunden der Deutschen Kinemathek
Raoul Ruiz was born on 25th Juli, 1941, in Puerto Montt. After studying film at the Escuela de Cine Documental in Santa Fé in Argentina, he first wrote several works for the stage before directing in 1967 his first feature film ´Très tristes Tigres´ (´Very sad Tigers´), for which he was awarded the Golden Leopard in Locarno. After the election victory of the Salvador Allende´s Unidad Popular he became an active member of the Socialist Party of Chile and joined its cultural section in renewing the land. In these years he made about 15 films. After the coup d´état against Allende he went into exile in Argentina. Later he moved to France, where he has been living most of the time till now. Apart from making films, he also stages plays there, like ´Life is a Dream´ from Calderón de la Barca in 1986. In 1995 he published the first volume of the three-part ´Poétique du cinéma´ (´The Poetry of Film´).
His films have won many international awards. ´L´il qui mente´ (The lying Eye) was nominated in 1992 for the Golden Palm in Cannes, as was ´Trois vies et une seule mort´ in 1996, and ´Le Temps retrouvé´ in 1999. ´Combat d´amour en songe´ won the critics´ award, as also the main award of the Americas at the film festival in Montreal. ´Fils de deux mères ou comédie de l´innocence´ (2000) was nominated in Venice for the Golden Lion.