The Library Lover: The Films of Raúl Ruiz

3/2/12 to 4/15/12

Surreal, hilarious cerebral, surprising, entertaining-the films of Chilean director Raúl Ruiz are unlike anything else in contemporary cinema. We present eight films (plus one short) by the celebrated filmmaker, who died last year. A self-proclaimed “library lover,” Ruiz often adapted his films from literary sources; our series includes Ruiz's artful adaptations of Proust, Klossowski, Kafka, Dante, and others.

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Past Films

  • The Suspended Vocation

    • Sunday, April 15 4 pm

    Raúl Ruiz (France, 1977). Three different “films” about rival Catholic factions are combined in Ruiz's dry investigation of institutional frameworks, whether religious or cinematic, photographed by Sacha Vierny (Last Year at Marienbad). (107 mins)

  • Tres Tristes Tigres

    • Saturday, April 14 6 pm

    Raúl Ruiz (Chile, 1968). Ruiz's debut feature adapts a popular play involving a seedy older brother who prostitutes his younger sister. Positioned in opposition to then-popular Mexican melodramas, the film pointedly disregards their overly dramatic aesthetics and creates instead a hyper-realist, Cassavettes-like style more concerned with everyday realities. (100 mins)

  • The Penal Colony

    • Wednesday, April 4 7 pm

    Raúl Ruiz (Chile, 1971). Loosely adapting a Kafka story, Ruiz creates a satirical power allegory worthy of Jonathan Swift and Eduardo Galeano. An impoverished Latin American country has nothing left to export except the only thing the First World expects from it: atrocity, or at least the news of it. With A TV Dante: Cantos 9–14, which Ruiz set in Santiago. (133 mins)

  • The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting

    • Friday, March 23 6:45 pm

    Raúl Ruiz (France, 1979). A satire on the urge to define and thus control art, The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting follows a doddering art collector as he pontificates on several paintings by a great artist that he's recreated in human form in the rooms of his monstrous estate. With Ruiz's delightful short, Dog's Dialogue (1977). (84 mins)

  • Time Regained

    • Sunday, March 18 6 pm

    Raúl Ruiz (France/Italy/Portugal, 1999). Introduced by Larry Bensky, executive producer of the website Ruiz's adaptation of the final volume of In Search of Lost Time is a film at once wholly faithful to Proust and to the distinctive vision of its director. With Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Béart, Vincent Perez, and John Malkovich. (162 mins)

  • Three Lives and Only One Death

    • Saturday, March 3 8:30 pm

    Raúl Ruiz (France/Portugal, 1996). In his second-to-last role, Marcello Mastroianni stars as a husband, a professor, a butler, and a businessman in Ruiz's light-hearted, Borgesian salute to fantasy life and the telling of tales. “A brilliant comedy . . . sexy . . . elegantly surreal” (New York Times). (123 mins)

  • Mysteries of Lisbon

    • Friday, March 2 7 pm

    Raúl Ruiz (Portugal/France, 2010). The noble and the damned are interchangeable in this magisterial gambit on the art of storytelling, based on a nineteenth-century Portuguese novel yet more radical than any contemporary tale. A young Lisbon orphan wonders who he is, but soon every possible identity comes into question. (272 mins)