Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Night Across the Street (Raúl Ruiz, 2013)

Raúl Ruiz's final completed feature (another is being finished by his widow) is as cryptic as the few other Ruiz films I've seen, with a host of modernist references to obscure literature and music at every turn. Yet the sense of playfulness and mourning that informs the whole feature needs no familiarity with the director. Taking Beethoven to the cinema, following ghosts as they peer in on each other, Ruiz finds sad but hilarious ways to handle his impending death. And he films it all with immaculate precision, his constantly shifting but always pristine mise-en-scène enriched to deliberately artificial degree by his use of DV. Admittedly a neophyte when it comes to the late Chilean director, I nevertheless have adored what little I've seen of his, and I suspect I might treasure Night Across the Street even more with subsequent viewings and a deeper immersion into such a tantalizing filmography. If nothing else, it's a hell of a swan song.

My full piece is up at Spectrum Culture.

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