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Today, Camille turns nine. He had sworn that on his 9th birthday he would show his parents the videos he was shooting on the side-the tail of a cat scampering away, a window, and a veiled woman's face - an intriguing picture... Later that day, Camille's mother, Ariane, meets up with her son in the park. The boys appears perturbed. He is leaning against a tree, eyes cast down. He says that now he wants to return to his "real home" and his "real mother." Written by
I'm beginning a serious affair with Ruiz and what an adventure it is turning into!
I originally was directed to Ruiz because of my public esteem for Greenaway; several readers suggested Ruiz. Ruiz clearly comes from the Latin tradition of floating narrative, where layers and magical realities penetrate each other. Where sex and related emotions weave with intellectual perspectives. Where floating without anchors beyond the anchor of lightness itself is the very idea of life.
Medem is the one I appreciate the most in this Latin world, though there are many others and I suppose the future of film now the next episode at least is in their hands.
Its in the nature of this floating for some artists to fold in layers of extreme self-reference, including notions of what constitutes art, the instant artifact, and in other directions, essays on illusive realities and the charms or multilayered love.
Greenaway is something a bit different. His floating is usually bipolar, between the Latin layers on one hand, soft and ephemeral and impulsive and codified frameworks on the other. Frameworks like ordering systems and symmetric containers. Cosmological and human machines for managing reality. The written word, itself dual. For Greenaway, it has to be an artifact first for him to escape the nature of artifacts.
Ruiz superficially appears similar, but in fact he inhabits a whole different world. Where Greenaway registers against geometric cosmologies, Ruiz simply works within the form of French cinema. It makes him less because French cinema how to say this gently is bankrupt. Yet, like modern religions of the book, it refers to times and frames of vitality.
Yet, it is a haunting notion, to bring this layered Latin floating of realities to a form that supposes that there is only one layer in life and that it is light, somewhat capricious and animated by the female urge.
What we have in this film is a space where every character is creating multiple realities: each person is in control and mad at the same time. In control, because he or she creates the realities we see. Mad because they cannot control them or separate them. each of these reflects into the artifact of the film.
We have the boy, who is an obsessive filmmaker, already by his ninth birthday his life and film have merged. He splits into three persons: the one his mother bore, a second one another woman had and lost and a third, Alexander, seen as imaginary by his mother.
We have the mother (a theater designer and painter) from whose perspective she splits into two women, both vying for the boy who died two years ago. One reality of this woman is that she is simply floating, French-wise, though intimate peelings that reveal ever more soft a soul. Another is that she is the other woman, a violinist inmate in a madhouse where she imagines her doctor to be her brother. She sees the madhouse as the family home, the other inmates as statues.
There's Serge, who the mother sees as her brother and in her other self as the psychiatrist of the madhouse. He is the fellow who sees. He blends with the boy, their toy-films are shared. It is because of Serge's lunchtime screws with the housekeeper/governess that the boy is unattended and drowns.
This is the French core, sex generated folded realities. In the DVD extras Ruiz says he had to do it this way because it is "against the law" to have ghosts in French films. That young sexy girl is the fulcrum of the thing, her torso locked in throwing the dice and always getting the same number, what she calls "inverted probabilities."
It isn't lifealtering stuff. But it is fine, Very fine, the house as the character.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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