Raúl Ruiz (director): Filmmaker (1941 - 2011) | Biography
peoplepill id: raul-ruiz-1
3 views today
3 views this week
Raúl Ruiz (director)

Raúl Ruiz (director)

Raúl Ruiz (director)
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Filmmaker
A.K.A. Raul Ruiz
Was Film director Screenwriter Film producer Actor Writer
From Chile
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio Literature
Gender male
Birth 25 July 1941, Puerto Montt
Death 19 August 2011, Paris (aged 70 years)
Residence Paris, Puerto Montt
Spouse: Valeria Sarmiento
The details (from wikipedia)


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.


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.

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.

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).

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.

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 is being held at the Cinémathèque française in Paris between 30 March and 30 May 2016.


  • La maleta (1963) - short film lost and completed in 2008
  • Le retour (1964) - unfinished short film
  • El tango del viudo (1967) - unfinished
  • Tres tristes tigres [Three Sad Tigers] (1968)
  • La catanaria (1969)
  • Militarismo y tortura (1969) - short film
  • ¡Qué hacer! (1970)
  • La colonia penal [The Penal Colony] (1970)
  • Ahora te vamos a llamar hermano (1971) - short film
  • Nadie dijo nada (1971)
  • Los minuteros (1972) - short film
  • Poesía popular: La teoría y la práctica (1972) - short film
  • La expropiación [The Expropriation] (1972)
  • Abastecimiento (1973) - short film
  • Palomita blanca [Little White Dove] (1973)
  • El realismo socialista (1973)
  • Palomita brava (1973) - short film
  • Diálogos de exiliados [Dialogues of Exiles] (1975)
  • Sotelo (1976) - short film
  • Utopia (1976)
  • Colloque de chiens (1977) - short film
  • Les divisions de la nature (1978) - short film
  • La vocation suspendue [The Suspended Vocation] (1978)
  • Petit manuel d'histoire de France (1979)
  • Jeux (1979)
  • De grands événements et de gens ordinaires [Of Great Events and Ordinary People] (1979)
  • Images de débat (1979)
  • L'hypothèse du tableau volé [The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting] (1979)
  • Zig-Zag - le jeu de l'oie (une fiction didactique à propos de la cartographie) (1980) - short film
  • La ville nouvelle (1980) - short film
  • Fahlstrom (1980) - short film
  • Musée Dali (1980)
  • L'image en silence (1980)
  • Le borgne (1980)
  • Teletests (1980) - short film
  • The Territory (1981)
  • Images de sable (1981) - short film
  • Ombres chinoises (1982) - short film
  • Querelle des jardins (1982) - short film
  • Le petit théâtre (1982) - short film
  • Het dak van de Walvis [On Top of the Whale] (1982)
  • Bérénice (1983)
  • La ville de Paris (1983)
  • Lettre d'un cinéaste ou Le retour d'un amateur de bibliothèques [Letter from a Library Lover] (1983) - short film
  • Les trois couronnes du matelot [Three Crowns of the Sailor] (1983)
  • La ville des pirates [City of Pirates] (1983)
  • Voyages d'une main (1984)
  • Régime sans pain (1984)
  • Point de fuite [Vanishing Point] (1984)
  • Les destins de Manoel [Manoel's Destinies/Manoel on the Island of Marvels] (1985)
  • L'Île au trésor [Treasure Island] (1985)
  • La présence réelle (1985)
  • L'éveillé du pont de l'Alma [The Insomniac on the Bridge] (1985)
  • Richard III (1986)
  • Mémoire des apparences [Life is a Dream] (1986)
  • Dans un miroir (1986)
  • Mammame (1986)
  • Brise-glace (1987)
  • La chouette aveugle [The Blind Owl] (1987)
  • Le professeur Taranne (1987)
  • Allegoria (1988)
  • Tous les nuages sont des horloges (1988)
  • Il pozzo dei pazzi (1989) - short film
  • Derrière le mur (1989)
  • Hub (1989)
  • The Golden Boat (1990)
  • La novela errante (1990) - unfinished
  • A TV Dante (Cantos 9-14) (1991)
  • Las soledades (1992) - short film
  • L'oeil qui ment [Dark at Noon] (1992)
  • Fado majeur et mineur [Fado, Major and Minor] (1994)
  • Wind Water (1995) - short film
  • Trois vies et une seule mort [Three Lives and Only One Death] (1996)
  • Généalogies d'un crime [Genealogies of a Crime] (1997)
  • Le film à venir (1997) - short film
  • Shattered Image (1998)
  • Le temps retrouvé [Time Regained] (1999)
  • Comédie de l'innocence [Comedy of Innocence] (2000)
  • Combat d'amour en songe [Love Torn in a Dream] (2000)
  • Les Âmes fortes [Savage Souls] (2001)
  • Miotte vu par Raúl Ruiz (2002)
  • Cofralandes, rapsodia chilena [Cofralandes, Chilean Rhapsody] (2002)
  • Ce jour-là [That Day] (2003)
  • Une place parmi les vivants [A Place Among the Living/A Taste for Murder] (2003)
  • Vertige de la page blanche [Vertigo of the Blank Page] (2003)
  • Días de campo [Days in the Country] (2004)
  • Le domaine perdu [The Lost Domain] (2005)
  • Klimt (2006)
  • Le Don (2007) - short film
  • La Recta Provincia (2007)
  • Litoral (2008)
  • La maison Nucingen [Nucingen House] (2008)
  • Agathopedia (2008)
  • El pasaporte amarillo [The Yellow Passport] (2009)
  • A Closed Book [Blind Revenge] (2010)
  • L'estate breve (2010)
  • Mistérios de Lisboa [Mysteries of Lisbon] (2010)
  • Ballet aquatique (2011)
  • La noche de enfrente [Night Across the Street] (2012)
  • As Linhas de Torres [Lines of Wellington] (2012) (conceived by Ruiz, completed by Valeria Sarmiento)


  • 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.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Search trend
comments so far.
From our partners
Sections Raúl Ruiz (director)

arrow-left arrow-right instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube pandora tunein iheart itunes