283 Great Directors: Raul Ruiz

“I’m used to working in 16mm and then processing the images almost as ideograms with two or three pieces of information per frame.”

Why This Director?
: Apparently Night Across the Street was simultaneously not the most representative finale and a very good one.

My Last Experience Was…: Night Across the Street. It was all right.

What Did I Watch: Mysteries of Lisbon (theatrical cut, 4.5 hours is enough for me).

Where Does He Fit: Should I waste time pretending I understood what happened in Mysteries of Lisbon? I just read a Wikipedia summary and I still don’t, but you can tell that Raul Ruiz is working in some fascinating mix of pure cinema and pure literary adaptation, a mix of electric camera glides (with an unusually beautiful look to the cinematography) and something much more weird and electric as a great summation of life and love among the Portuguese high society, casually exchanging barbs that turn out to be more political than you could have ever realized. Everything is totally playful and the 4.5 hours fly by in a sea of increasingly intricate webs. Ruiz is working in a totally different mode than Night Across the Street, but both make fascinating swan songs.


Most Valuable Asset: Life is a dream, and that can be fun.
Most Excited For: City of Pirates/Three Crowns of the Sailor.

Coming Up Next: Korea New Wave member Lee Chang-dong.


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