Raúl Ruiz died today, the Chilean director who had exiled himself to France after Pinochet’s acceding power, was better known there for having directed a number of made-for-TV films. As prolific artist who wrote and directed his films, and the author of a well-received adaptation of a Proust novel (Marcel Proust’s Time Regained; 1999) he earned his place in the pantheon of film auteurs.
After enduring years of working in the shadows of television directing, Ruiz got dealt better a better hand and was allowed to show the breadth of his talents on big-budget movies like Geneology of a Crime, featuring two of France’s biggest stars Michel Piccoli (Habemus Papam) and Catherine Deneuve (Potiche).
Growing up in France, I have a vague remembrance of watching his TV movies. Later, in film class at Columbia I was shown Three Crowns of the Sailor (1982), about a wandering sailor and the irresistible pull of money (read a very good article about it here).
If you’ve got the time, visit Ruiz’s IMDB page and take note of the filmmaker’s incredible output since 1963.
His page listed two projects in pre-production as of the time of his death. He was 70.