Le Monde is reporting that Raul Ruiz died Friday, August 19 in Paris, where the exiled Chilean filmmaker had made his home since 1973. The cause of death was a pulmonary infection. The seemingly indefatigable filmmaker was still hard at work: “He was in the midst of finishing the editing of a film he has shot on his childhood in Chile,” Ruiz’s producer, François Margolin, told Le Monde, “And he was preparing another film in Portugal, on a famous Napoleonic battle.”
Ruiz’s passing at 70 represents a tremendous loss for contemporary filmmaking. After a relatively fallow decade, he seemed to be have recovered his fierce creativity with “Mysteries of Lisbon,” which won the Prix Louis Delluc last year and is currently playing in US art houses. I had the pleasure of spending time with him on several occasions. He was a remarkably warm and generous person, dazzlingly well read and gifted with one of the liveliest intelligences I have ever encountered.
A fine appreciation from J. Hoberman is up at the Village Voice site.