“On the verge of a forced retirement, Don Celso, an elderly office worker begins to relive both real and imagined memories from his life – a trip to the movies as a young boy with Beethoven, listening to tall tales from Long John Silver, a brief stay in a haunted hotel, conversations with a fictional doppelgänger of a real writer. Stories hide within stories and the thin line between imagination and reality steadily erodes, opening up a marvelous new world of personal remembrance and fantastic melodrama. In this playfully elegiac film, loosely adapted from the fantastical short stories of Chilean writer Herman del Solar, Ruiz has crafted a final masterwork on his favorite subjects: fiction, history and life itself.”
Ruiz made another film after Mysteries of Lisbon? Gimme!
Very good news. As his performance in the 1st Directors Cup here shows, Ruiz deserves a lot more attention. His zest for life and interest in different aspects of international culture(s) were extraordinary. He was a director who went round with his head up, his brain and ears alert, and so much to say. Mysteries of Lisbon is wonderful, that would have been a grand swansong, but the more the merrier…
It’s also showing at Toronto and New York.
It has a screening tomorrow afternoon in Melbourne.
I’ve lost count of how many films dubbed ‘Raul Ruiz’s final film’ there’ve been; the labelling’s starting to get a little repetitious.
This is actually his last film. LINES OF WELLINGTON had only gone into pre-production; Ruiz passed away while he had only finished casting. Knowing how much Ruiz improvised on set, we can assume that the film as Sarmiento made it (it has its moments, but does not altogether work, to say the least) doesn’t really work the way Ruiz’s film would work at all.
This one is very strong and will feel familiar to anyone who’s seen Ruiz’s other recent South American work, like DIAS DE CAMPO or LA RECTA PROVINCIA.
Scheduled for the Chicago Film Festival as well.
A very, very bad film. If this really is his last film, it is quite a disappointing one.
You seen it yet? Haters are going to hate but I’m curious to what someone who’s seen a lot of Ruiz films will think.
It is decidedly not a very bad film. It’s actually very good: I saw it in Cannes and wrote about it. Here’s some context for the production.
Video essay by Kevin B. Lee.