Siren song: the narrating voice in two films by Raúl Ruiz

Heinemann, David (2013) Siren song: the narrating voice in two films by Raúl Ruiz. Cinema Comparat/ive Cinema, 1 (3). pp. 66-75. ISSN 2014-8933

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In two documentary-inflected fiction films, The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (L’Hypothèse du tableau volé, 1979) and the lesser known short, Ice Stories (Histoires de glace, 1987), Raúl Ruiz employs oral narration, both on screen and in voice-over, to lead the viewer into labyrinthine narratives that recall in their baroque complexity the fiction of Jorge Luis Borges. While Borges grounds his stories in the real world through referencing historical times, people and places, and often uses an academic style and form to bestow an air of seriousness and rigour to his conceptual flights of fancy, Ruiz counterpoints the fantastic nature of his stories with documentary devices and images. Combined with articulate and persuasive oral narration, Ruiz creates a unique and mysterious world that marries the real with the fantastic to unsettling effect. This paper explores how Ruiz uses specifically cinematic approaches, such as unusual voice-image juxtapositions and multiple oral narrators to challenge, like Borges before him, accepted notions of time, causality and identity, and how he incorporates other art forms, such as paintings, photographs and the tableau vivant, to interrogate the boundaries of filmic form and style.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 13186
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Depositing User: David Heinemann
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2014 10:10
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 06:11

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