"The Wandering Soap Opera" (2019) | Raul Ruiz | Triangle Premiere
New Release/Global Cinema
The Wandering Soap Opera
(Raúl Ruiz, 2019, 80 min, Chile, Spanish with English subtitles, Color, DCP)
-- Introduced by Craig Breaden (Audiovisual Archivist, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)
In 1990, Ruiz conducted six days of acting workshops and filming in his native Chile, yielding a small wealth of 16mm footage that was never edited together until Valeria Sarmiento, Ruiz’s wife and chief collaborator, found the footage in Duke University’s Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and completed the film, nearly six years after Ruiz’s death in 2011. The result is a wildly inventive, episodic work of political satire born of Ruiz and Sarmiento’s vision of “Chilean reality” as a grand pastiche of soap-opera tropes—in other words, that the best way to understand the political and economic realities Chileans face is to view their situation through the sublime and ridiculous prism of the telenovela.
"Clearly relishing the stylistic leeway afforded by the genre—the film’s prismatic color palette and exaggerated decoupage provide enough aesthetic pleasures to make one mourn yet again the absence of one of cinema’s great stylists—Ruiz takes as fanciful an approach to the film’s visual design as he does its object of critique." - Jordan Cronk, Film Comment
About Raul Ruiz:
During his 50-year career, Ruiz directed more than 100 films, tragically few of which found their way to theaters stateside. He began his career creating and directing avant-garde theater in Latin America, during which time he also wrote for Mexican telenovelas. This contrast of high and popular art is visible in much of his later work. His first feature film, Tres tristes tigres (1968), won him the Golden Leopard at Locarno. Ruiz adopted Paris as his home after fleeing Chile in 1973 as a result of Pinochet’s military coup d’etat and his subsequent persecution of intellectuals and dissidents. There he continued to direct film, television and theater—in an impressive array of languages including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and English—and became a noted film theorist and academic. His films continued to garner accolades and critical praise and he is one of a select group of cineastes to have an entire issue of the legendary French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma devoted to his work.
Sponsored by the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), Duke University Libraries, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Screen/Society screenings are free and open to the public.
Parking Info: https://artscenter.duke.edu/parking/