The legacy of Raul Ruiz after five years of his death

“Tres Tristes Tigres”, “El Tiempo Recobrado” and “Días de Campo” are some of the most important works of the greatest Chilean filmmakes of the XXth Century.

Raúl Ruiz
Riccardo De Luca

«Every film always involves another secret film, and to discover it, you just have to develop the gift of double vision, which means watching a film not only in its narrative sequence, but also seeing the symbolic and narrative potential of the imagezs and sound isolated from the context. » In this quote from Raul Ruiz we can see the theoretical corpus that led him to become one of the most prolific and original film directors of our times.

In order for Ruiz to sustain his career, during his teenage years he wrote many plays, he had already written over 100 texts when he was 21 years old and had shown a playful and original style. Born in Puerto Montt in 1941, and son of a merchant seaman, his career took off with his first feature film called «Tres Tristes Tigres» (1968), which was received enthusiastically by critics and European circles, but did not do so well in the ticket sales. It was during his exile in France when he developed his more prolific work, away from the instability of Chile, and exploring cryptic stories and games of time and space.

In the 80’s he made his more prominent and eloquent films, such as «Las Tres Coronas del Marinero», considered by many critics as his best film. With the arrival of the 90’s and after the end of Chile’s dictatorship, Ruiz periodically returns to Chile and begins to experiment with other artistic disciplines such as novels and comic books. The year 1999 was marked by his most ambitious work: «El Tiempo Recobrado», an adaptation of Marcel Proust’s novel. «Días de Campo» (2004) and «La recta Provincia» (2007) were some of his last productions before dying from liver cancer on August 19, 2011 in Paris.

In the words of Alan Pauls, Argentine writer and critic, «Raul Ruiz invented a way to be an artist that is unique in cinema.»