Impossible cartographies: approaching Raúl Ruiz’s cinema

Goddard, M N. 2013. Impossible cartographies: approaching Raúl Ruiz’s cinema. Em Questão, 19(1), pp. 21-41. ISSN 1807-8893 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Raúl Ruiz (1931-2011), while considered one of the world’s most significant filmmakers by several film critics, is yet to be the subject of any thorough academic engagement with his work in English. My book Impossible Cartographies sets out on this task by mapping, as fully as possible, Ruiz’s cinematic trajectory across more than five decades of prolific work ranging from his earliest work in Chile to high budget ‘European’ costume dramas culminating in the recent Mysteries of Lisbon (2010). It does this by treating Ruiz’s work, with its surrealist, magic realist, popular cultural and neo-Baroque sources, as a type of ‘impossible’ cinematic cartography, mapping real, imaginary and virtual spaces, and crossing between different cultural contexts, aesthetic strategies, and technical media. In argues that across the different phases of Ruiz’s work identified, there are key continuities such as the invention of singular cinematic images and the interrogation of their possible and impossible combinations. This article will present some of the key themes of Ruiz’s cinema and use ideas of virtual cartography, tableaux vivants and the neo-baroque to illuminate a range of Ruiz’s films from the Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (1978) to Mysteries of Lisbon, his last major project.

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Raúl Ruiz, cinema, cartographies, exile, deterritorialisation, invention, surrealism, neo-baroque

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



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Date Deposited:

10 Nov 2022 17:23

Last Modified:

10 Nov 2022 17:30

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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