Marcello Mastroianni stars as a man who shares four names and four personalities (which is the real one?). This mysterious figure is the link between four different, yet strangely similar, stories involving love, lust, crime and time.
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Three Lives and Only One DeathDirected byRaúl Ruiz
What a beautiful, complex film. Blurring the line between dark & twisted and whimsical, this film begs for repeated viewing. Though he'd come to the end of his career by this time, Mastroianni is still at the top of his game.
I lived and worked with people like Mastroianni's character. Each time I watch this film I am reminded of the complexities of schizophrenia and how so many live in society with this mental illness and are not only socially successful, but vicious in their ability to manipulate others. Although it's a bit fantastic and perhaps mild by way of someone with schizophrenia, what a nice introduction to madness!
+ However bleakly / fluffily refutable, each Ruiz film is commendable enough to earn him the Rubaiyat's 11th quatrain sans fear of retraction thereafter. (Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bow, | A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse and Thou | Beside me singing (filming) in the Wilderness - | And Wilderness is Paradise enow.) Behind the pompousness of declaration lies my awe w/ the Cortazarian mischief of this mind.
A fitting ending for the Maestro, the chameleon called Marcello. "Please stop reading Carlos Casteneda!" I love the whole idea of negative anthropology. Great use of the pull-focus. The theme I took from it was the problem of the persuasive power of money. And lots of of other things that are cool!
Marcello Mastroianni is a legend of Movie history. Even if he's not on the screen, you feel his presence and his voice so peculiar echoes in your head. Raoul Ruiz's Three Lives and Only One Death is in my opinion the last great movie he played in. The Fabergé Egg story invented by Bonitzer and Ruiz is a film worthy to stay in your library. Highly recommnended.