Opening in the year 1918 Gustav Klimt lies on his death bed. We follow his feverish visions back to the Austrian pavillion at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, where he is awarded the gold medal for his work entitled ‘Philosophy’. At the pavillion he encounters the film magician ‘Méliès’, with the mysterious French dancer, Lea de Castro and the ‘Secretary of State’, an oppressive father figure who accompanies Klimt through the film like a shadow.
Chilean filmmaker Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaulted the preconceptions of film art, this frightfully prolific figure – he made over 100 films in 40 years – did not adhere to any one style of filmmaking. He worked in 35mm, 16mm and video, for theatrical release and for European TV, and on documentary and fiction features and shorts. His career began in avant-garde theatre where, between 1956 and 1962, he wrote over 100 plays. Although he never directed any of these productions, he did dabble in TV and filmmaking in the early 1960s. In 1968, with the release of his first completed feature, the Cassavetes-like Tres tristes tigres (1968… read more
The director's cut certainly does help (it's head and shoulders above the US release version, which is shorter but feels twice as long). Still feels like something of a misfire, despite how many extraordinary moments Ruiz manages to pull off. Perhaps his heart was still in South America, surrounded as this film is by the extraordinary DAYS IN THE COUNTRY and LA RECTA PROVINCIA...
The renowned critic, novelist and screenwriter worked with Ruiz and Bertolucci.
The original Spanish language commentaries for Notebook’s series on Raúl Ruiz, plus a bonus new, untranslated Spanish article.