7.1/10
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Three Lives and Only One Death (1996)

Trois vies et une seule mort (original title)
Take a walk into the dreamlike world of filmmaker Raul Ruiz as he takes us to Paris for a twisting ride. Four strangely symmetrical stories unfold involving love, lust, crime, and time.

Director:

Raoul Ruiz
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Mastroianni ... Mateo Strano / Georges Vickers / Butler / Luc Allamand
Anna Galiena ... Maria Gabri-Colosso, "Tania la Corse"
Marisa Paredes ... María
Melvil Poupaud ... Martin
Chiara Mastroianni ... Cécile
Arielle Dombasle ... Hélène
Féodor Atkine ... André
Jean-Yves Gautier Jean-Yves Gautier ... Mario
Jacques Pieiller Jacques Pieiller ... Tania's Husband
Pierre Bellemare Pierre Bellemare ... Radio Narrator
Smaïn Smaïn ... Luca
Lou Castel ... Bum #1
Roland Topor ... Bum #2
Jacques Delpi Jacques Delpi ... Bum #3
Jean Badin Jean Badin ... Antoine José
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Storyline

Take a walk into the dreamlike world of filmmaker Raul Ruiz as he takes us to Paris for a twisting ride. Four strangely symmetrical stories unfold involving love, lust, crime, and time. Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Portugal

Language:

French

Release Date:

11 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Lives and Only One Death See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Radio Announcer: Extreme happiness is a form of misery.
See more »

Connections

References Alphaville (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

An die Musik, D.547
Words by Franz von Schober
Music by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

Three scaffolds and no edifice to support
9 July 2011 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

With his work in the 80's Ruiz managed to cast upon the French conundrums about time and reality an oblique, dreamlike light. A light that diffused the essay into heady magic, into shadow play that was dangerous and sultry with the impossible. He would see Welles from the other side of the mirror, from the fictional looking in.

None of that here, instead dry vignettes like a French Bunuel. Some wit and irreverence and a few touches about convergent realities that remind of his earlier films are lost in too much transparence.

The structure is reminiscent of something he would do. A surreal comedy where Marcello Mastroyanni is three different characters. All three stories are framed by a narrator reading them for a radio program. Eventually the three lives converge, worlds overlap under a single author who weaves himself in fictions that inexplicably become real, but they converge and overlap too late and no real sparks fly.

Whereas earlier Ruiz trusted intuition to take him to the place where ideas mean things, here he starts from ideas and structures as he goes on. It is all scaffold, elaborate, suffocating scaffold, with no edifice to support. Ideas cast adrift without anchor. Compare with the richness of his 80's films about sailing inwards.


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