Raúl Ruiz

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jaked
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#51 Post by jaked » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:49 pm

Actually both versions of "Misterios" have footage not seen in the other.

As for the DVD set, it is indeed upcoming: http://www.atalantafilmes.pt/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You will also notice there another Ruiz DVD set, that of his more recent films.

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Murdoch
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#52 Post by Murdoch » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:54 pm

Holy moly, that's fantastic news - they even have English subs! I have been waiting forever to see City of Pirates. Hopefully Lisbon will get a release early next year, looks like it's running the festival circuit till at least December.

What's the release date for the box of older films? (Portuguese isn't my strong suit)

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zedz
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#53 Post by zedz » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:08 pm

English subs!?! This could be the release of whatever year it comes out.

ExperimentoFilm

Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#54 Post by ExperimentoFilm » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:02 am

Great news - thanks for these updates, all.

So fantastic that Mysteries is confirmed as coming out on UK DVD in 2011. Really hope that New Wave Films do some nice extras!


I already own copies of everything on the A CONSAGRAÇÃO set. Pity about the terrible cover too:
Image
It might have some decent new extras though, which would make all the difference.


The RARIDADES set is absolutely mouthwatering!! And the cover looks much nicer:
Image
I need The Territory right now!!


Murdoch, you can see CoP here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p ... F3735A65BC
Last edited by ExperimentoFilm on Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

jaked
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#55 Post by jaked » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:42 pm

Quick note about the "Klimt" release - it's a director's cut.

Now, I'm wondering why in the heck no one has released a director's cut of "Dark at Noon". This was another film completely butchered by producers. Not to mention "Treasure Island" - I hear Ruiz might have an original cut lasting about 4 hours.

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L.A.
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#56 Post by L.A. » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:53 am

Can anyone recommend a good online store where to order the Raridades set?

Thanks!

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John Cope
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#57 Post by John Cope » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:34 pm

An early Christmas present for you (Cold Bishop ought to especially approve). Obviously not the greatest transfer in the world but to be able to see this at all is satisfaction enough at this point and certainly a step in the right direction.

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ola t
They call us neo-cinephiles
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#58 Post by ola t » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:12 am

L.A. wrote:Can anyone recommend a good online store where to order the Raridades set?

Thanks!
Just noticed that it looks like Portuguese Fnac have the Raridades set in stock.

I've received my Raridades set now. Since the information on Fnac's web site is potentially misleading, I thought I should point out that it does not include Fado majeur et mineur. Here's what it does contain:
  • Love Torn in Dream
  • City of Pirates
  • Point de fuite
  • The Territory
City of Pirates has the same extras (including the Ruiz interview) as on the unsubtitled French disc, except (alas) the short film Le jeu de l'oie. The only other extra in the set is a further Ruiz interview/monologue, also previously available on a French release though I forget which one, where he talks about his "six functions of the shot" in a most confusing way.

Love Torn in Dream is the only film I've seen so far; it's non-anamorphic letterboxed and looked good to me. I noticed a few mistakes in the English subtitles -- not typos, but misunderstandings -- though nothing fatal. I loved the film, incidentally.

I've sampled bits of Point de fuite and it looks like a good transfer from a very rough-looking print, with huge burnt-in French subtitles on the scenes with English dialogue. Unless my memory is playing tricks on me, I think Rosenbaum wrote years ago that the film only exists as a single print, in which case it's unlikely to ever look better.

J Adams
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#59 Post by J Adams » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:56 pm

I ordered this from BluePlanetDVD after my fnac.pt order never showed up. It was silightly cheaper, taking into account postage, than fnac. Still took awhile to arrive.

Haven't checked out the set yet.

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Murdoch
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#60 Post by Murdoch » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:45 pm

If anyone is willing to post caps I'd be incredibly grateful.

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Murdoch
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#61 Post by Murdoch » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:09 pm

For US buyers looking for a cheap option for the Raridades set, some marketplace seller is selling new copies for $54

Paupau
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#62 Post by Paupau » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:47 pm

Clap Films are the portuguese editors btw.

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ola t
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#63 Post by ola t » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:05 pm


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Murdoch
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Re: Raoul Ruiz on DVD

#64 Post by Murdoch » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:41 pm

Thanks for those, it looks alright to me although considering I was getting to the point where I'd take a subbed VHS of the films I don't have anything to complain about!

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zedz
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#65 Post by zedz » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:02 pm

Tossed up whether to stick this here or in the 'Ruiz on DVD' thread, but figured this one needed the attention.

Raul Ruiz – Raridades

Even though I got it too late to include in the year-end vote, this is quite possibly the release of 2010 for me: another handful of pieces for the Xanaduesque jigsaw puzzle that is Ruiz’s oeuvre – a puzzle I wonder if anybody will ever complete. Conveniently, it slots in nicely alongside the earlier blaq out set as a primer for his prime output of the 70s / 80s.

Let’s get the technical specs out of the way first: the widescreen films here are non-anamorphic and the transfers are variable but all decent. There are short but cogent interview extras for City of Pirates and Love Torn in Dream, the latter of which gets very deep into idiosyncractically Ruizian film theory.

But onto the films:

Pointe de fuite

I’m a huge Ruiz fan, but even I don’t get / don’t like everything he does, and the short straw in this set is Point de fuite (Vanishing Point), which is included as an extra on the City of Pirates disc. It’s interesting enough, and I’m grateful for its inclusion, as it seems like it’s been rescued from the brink of oblivion, given that it’s the roughest transfer in the pack, from a battered, exhibition print with burnt-in French subs. You can see many of Ruiz’s interests of the time (identity, ritual, semantics) play out as a kind of chamber piece, but it’s much drier than the baroque fantasias the surround it.

City of Pirates

City of Pirates, however, is a full-blown / fly-blown masterpiece, a fulsome horror movie that pulls out all the stylistic stops to convey the atmosphere of a nightmare you keep waking up out of, only to find yourself in a deeper, stranger nightmare. I first saw this film in the early 90s and it left a deep impression on me, even though such niceties and plot and character tended to evaporate as soon as I walked out of the cinema. Seeing it again, I understand that those things were already evaporating during the course of the movie, leaving, by the final shots, little more than a sense of existential dread.

It’s a hard film to spoiler, but I will say, cautiously, that the most unnerving thing about it is the dawning realization towards the end of the film that all of these impossible transformations and slippages could actually be resolved into a single coherent ‘reality’. It’s kind of the opposite (and kind of the same) narrative fakeout that so many lesser horror movies have attempted in the years since, but it works much more effectively here for a variety of reasons. The ‘revelation’ is little more than a handful of glinting reflections immersed in a morass of genuinely unnerving psychotic visions; the emphasis is on psychology rather than gotcha plot mechanics; and the insight isn’t offered up as a tidy solution to the narrative puzzle – it’s just another possibility, and one that fails to dispel or resolve the aura of evil and despair that permeates the movie.

If that sounds incredibly doomy, it should also be noted that City of Pirates is a whole lot of fun, with Ruiz revelling in black comedy and devising new tongue-in-cheek attention-getting shots and effects every couple of minutes or so. The sheer promiscuity of his aesthetic is part of the joke, and if you survive the first ten minutes without succumbing to gimmick overload, you’ll probably love the rest of it. In those ten minutes we get an elaborate plan-sequence, the camera easing back and forth across a kitchen, pausing to gaze out a window at the sea, as characters pass right and left in front of and behind it, speaking at cross-purposes. Then we go outdoors, where the seascape has a crystalline, painterly quality (achieved by having an artist paint on glass in front of the lens) and the editing pattern becomes maximally disjunctive, with each new shot tackling the scene from ever more unlikely perspectives – Ruiz nodding his head to the equally financially strapped and resourceful European Welles. A ball bounces docilely across the terrace and lands on a table (filmed backwards); a man complains about the abscess in his mouth and we cut to a POV shot of said abscess, looking out through the teeth to the sunglassed woman looking in.

Throughout the film, Ruiz constantly reminds us how movie worlds are constructed, and by continually breaking the rules of that game he finds new worlds and plays a new kind of film game. City of Pirates is really remarkably dreamlike in the way it manages its transitions between related story layers and makes identity fluid, in ways both obvious (a character who manifests the personalities of an entire family, for instance) and not so obvious.

Being Ruiz, the film is also, naturally, fundamentally literary, and in the interview attached he reveals that the project was initially intended as an actual literary adaptation but, on the eve of filming, the rights for the novel in question turned out to be otherwise engaged, so he had to stitch together a new film that could make use of the settings and costumes. To do so he used bits and pieces of pirate lore, including some specific Chilean historical references, elements of fairy tale and urban legend, and a healthy dose of Peter Pan.

Reconceiving Peter Pan, with all its barely submerged violence and creepiness, as a horror movie is a fine idea (and it’s not original to Ruiz – the weird and unsettling Hammer film Straight on ‘til Morning got there a good ten years earlier), but this isn’t really an adaptation of the play. Throughout his career, Ruiz has taken well-worn stories and used them to generate the rules of his fictional worlds. I find this approach fascinating – it’s sort of like using a work of fiction to generate a genre (rather than the normal, reverse process), but a genre within which only one work will ever be created – and a lot of my favourite Ruiz films seem to work this way: Treasure Island (Treasure Island, naturally); L’Oeil qui ment (Dracula); Nuncigen Haus (one or more gothic novels).

The Territory

I was delighted that City of Pirates lived up to my flattering memories of it. Next up, The Territory also had a lot to live up to, even though I’d never seen it.

There are so many Ruiz films I haven’t seen that this one had floated to the top of my must-see list almost by default, based solely on an intriguing plot synopsis and its symbiotic / parasitic relationship with one of my favourite Wim Wenders films, The State of Things. With only that in mind, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I got more than I bargained for.

The Territory is an uncommonly straightforward film for Ruiz that stays true to its high concept (basically a precursor to The Blair Witch Project by way of The Exterminating Angel, with a bunch of bourgeois young trippers getting lost in a park, then getting loster and loster, in more ways than one) right up until the very end, when some characteristic Ruizian slippages pull a few carpets that we hadn’t even noticed out from underneath us (and there’s a great scene a little earlier, where we finally get to see a map of the ‘territory’ in which the characters are lost that’s deliriously over-the-top, semiotically).

Where City of Pirates managed to recreate the frayed, drifting consciousness of a dream, The Territory goes instead for the frayed, drifting consciousness of hunger and desperation, and its surreal edge is subtler and more insidious (Is the band being followed? Where are those dogs? Is the corpse following them or are they following it?) By the time the characters get a chance to save themselves, they’ve lost the mental wherewithal to do so.

The film does get off to something of a shaky start owing to weak English-language performances, but I either got used to the delivery or the worst offenders fell silent as the film progressed.

Love Torn in Dream

A film only Ruiz could make, and so dizzyingly complicated that I’ll need to watch it a few more times before I can see past the extraordinary stunt to the film proper.

As the prologue (a black-and-white newsreel of sorts about the making of the film we’re about to see) promises, this is a mash-up of nine different stories, all sharply defined and confined to their own genre and thematic concerns. They’re presented almost as parodies of high-concept film pitches – e.g. a guy discovers a website that chronicles his own everyday activities for the following day – and several of them echo films Ruiz had already actually made (there’s a city of pirates in there, a stolen painting and a suspended vocation, to name but three). There follows some theoretical palaver about the way in which these narratives are going to be combined and recombined, then off we go.

Ruiz’s cleverest trick is that he relates the nine different, apparently incompatible stories (they don’t even belong to the same era) not as cross-cutting parallels, but as a single, continuous linear narrative, with a single protagonist moving from one scenario to the next with the maximum amount of logical continuity (given the fundamental logical discontinuity between the scenarios). The first section of the film is presented as a straight-faced run through the nine narratives in the order that they were introduced, with Melvil Poupaud gamely staying in character even when he’s thrown into the future or past or has major revelations about his character foisted upon him. The next section starts to combine the different narratives in more elaborate ways, then a third pass toys with further permutations, and so on. Along the way, all sorts of Ruizian preoccupations (theological arcana, confounded linguistics, waylaid treasure hunts and quests) get an airing. It’s a rather amazing narrative and filmmaking feat, but I must admit I was too engaged in observing Ruiz pull it off to submit to the calmly crazy push and pull of the narrative itself. Definitely a lot more to explore in this singular film.

karmajuice
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#66 Post by karmajuice » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:36 am

So I don't know where else to post this, but I felt the need to. Hopefully it's appropriately Ruizian.

Up to now, I have never seen a Ruiz film, but the man has affected me just the same. He's a filmmaker I've developed an inexplicable obsession with, in spite of never having seen one of his films (it's happened with me before, with Sam Fuller, for instance). I've seen stills from time to time, I've caught a few seconds-long clips on youtube, and I've read about the films: enough to get an impression of what they're like without having any concrete details revealed. With this limited knowledge, I had a dream a few months ago that I was watching a Ruiz film.

If the film had a title, I don't know what it was. I remember only one scene; I may have only dreamed one scene.
A blindfolded man was marched before a firing squad in a desert. The wall they placed him against stood alone, a fragment of a wall, riddled with bullet holes. The execution was happening at sunset and everything was unnaturally orange, almost like a tinted silent film. The camera tracked back, and as it did so the line of rifles poked out from the bottom of the frame. The rifles were unrealistically ornate: brightly polished and embossed with silver and gold designs. As they were about to fire a man on a horse rode up beside the blindfolded man (sometimes when I picture it the man and his horse are also wearing blindfolds, but I think I unconsciously added this later). The man on horseback drew a pistol (also quite ornate, ivory handle) and held it to the prisoner's head. The camera switched to a POV shot -- of the blindfolded prisoner. You could only see the black cloth and vague shapes moving behind it. After a gunshot, the screen became truly black.

I share this because tonight I'm about to watch my first Ruiz film (Three Crowns of a Sailor) and I'm curious to see how closely my dream resembles his actual style. I post it here for its sheer oddness and to see what everyone thinks of my subconscious cinematographer.

I can't wait to dive into his work. I suspect I'll like the ol' guy.

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zedz
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#67 Post by zedz » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:42 pm

karmajuice wrote:everything was unnaturally orange, almost like a tinted silent film.
This sounds a little Ruizian, as does this:
unrealistically ornate
And maybe this:
a POV shot -- of the blindfolded prisoner. You could only see the black cloth and vague shapes moving behind it.
The rest sounds more like Fernando Arrabal, so if you haven't seen his films, it sounds like you should.

I look forward to your reaction to Three Crowns!

karmajuice
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#68 Post by karmajuice » Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:02 am

I've been letting the film process for a few days now. My immediate reaction was that I wanted to watch it all over again, immediately. It's a rare film that has this effect on me -- only when I find a film compelling and confounding and very dense.

Starting out, I was frustrated with the quality of the transfer, to the point of distraction. But by the time the film changed to color I was mesmerized (it helped that the transfer seemed to improve; the b&w segments were nearly unwatchable, but the color segments were fine, if unexceptional). Frankly I'm not even sure how to start talking about this film.

Visually, it roughly corresponded to what I anticipated, having seen some stills beforehand, but the imagery was even more varied and phantasmagoric than I expected. What really surprised me was the editing, though. Ruiz cuts between angles without any apparent motivation -- without any narrative motivation, in any case. However, this approach enriches the film in other ways, shying away from the Hollywood habit of placing the camera in the optimal position to view the relevant action. Instead, we become immersed in the environment. We are thrown into a world of colors and distortions, forced to peer around objects and through glass surfaces. Ruiz is more concerned with the minutiae of this world, the details that define its dimensions -- a sense of place, of time, of mood. The film's deliberately disorienting approach to editing forces us to view these environments in an unconventional light, to concern ourselves as much with the style of the film as the story it's allegedly telling.

And what environments! The nature of the story allows for a rich diversity settings, of course. It has no narrative anchor, beyond the "ghost ship" conceit, and we're allowed to drift from place to place, scene to scene. A ship sailing on the open sea, a room populated with dolls and adorned with a child's coffin (which is adorned with rows of bubblegum), a seaside home robbed of its familiarity. I found the sheer spontaneous variety thrilling. The film simply delights in bringing together these disparate tales, of seafaring and far-off places. And if the fantastic imagery were not enough, the sailor's narration and the dialogue are often as poetic and evocative as what we see. The whole film seems to me a network of signs and codes, a vast riddle composed from old stories and the aesthetic traditions which developed around them.

There's a great deal more to say about this film, but my thoughts aren't especially organized and I might end up writing enough to fill a book if I tried. I love how the film is, at its essence, about storytelling -- "telling" being the operative part of the word. The stories are interesting in their own right, but it is the way they blend and intermingle, the way their wild juxtapositions light each other up, that really brings the film to life. A drunken storyteller is a wonderful device in this regard: his stories may become incoherent but the confusion results in poetic associations which might not have surfaced otherwise.

I'm glad I watched this when I did, because I'd just finished reading Treasure Island for the first time (another Ruiz film I should endeavor to see). I adored the book, even more than I expected to, and it helped put me in the right place for this film. Both works steadily grow in my estimation as I look back on them, partly due to their reciprocal relationship.

Regarding the dream, you were just about spot-on zedz. Several shots used orange filters very reminiscent of my dream (although that looked more like intensely orange lighting, like one might see in an old Technicolor musical), and they had an overall aesthetic affinity. I'll definitely look into this Arrabal fellow, though, who I've only heard of in passing until now.

I may continue giving impressions as I watch Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting and Suspended Vocation -- and if I rewatch Three Crowns of the Sailor. I wouldn't mind immersing myself in that world again.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#69 Post by Cold Bishop » Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:41 am

karmajuice wrote:Starting out, I was frustrated with the quality of the transfer
Well, get used to it. His best film (Manoel's Destinies) is only available in a bootleg from a god-knows-how-many-generation vhs transfer, and the large chunk of his films that are available are only in bootleg sources which are often only marginally better.

karmajuice
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#70 Post by karmajuice » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:41 am

Yeah, I gathered that would be the case. I have Manoel's Destinies bookmarked on youtube but wanted to watch him on DVD first, so my initial exposure wouldn't be something warped by the ravages of bootleg dupes.

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Zazou dans le Metro
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#71 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:49 am

They have been mentioned on th Ruiz DVD thread I think but you do know about these I take it?
http://coffretraulruiz.blogspot.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Murdoch
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#72 Post by Murdoch » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:09 pm

I can't speak to the quality of the set of his newer films, but the Raridades is a must have and you'll probably never see the films released again with such care, or at all for that matter. I can't recommend it enough, the fact that these films are available with English subs on pressed discs is just, wow, everybody buy the damn set already. [/gushing]

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zedz
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#73 Post by zedz » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:28 pm

Zazou dans le Metro wrote:They have been mentioned on th Ruiz DVD thread I think but you do know about these I take it?
http://coffretraulruiz.blogspot.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks for the link. I was on the fence about the newer set until I realised it had those two shorts and the director's cut of Klimt, but now it seems worth the double-up.

EDIT: As for catching up, once you've got the three European box sets (all English subbed) I think you've got everything officially available except for Comedy of Innocence (out on Artificial Eye), Shattered Image and the forthcoming Mysteries of Lisbon. 14 - 15 films wouldn't be bad in terms of availability if Ruiz weren't so incredibly prolific. IMDB lists 112 titles as director, and I wouldn't trust it to be complete.

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perkizitore
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#74 Post by perkizitore » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:19 pm

A Closed Book is out on DVD in the UK.

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zedz
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Re: Raul Ruiz

#75 Post by zedz » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:06 pm

Oh, I missed that - has anybody seen it / can recommend it? I must admit, it doesn't look promising, but then it seems like the distributors are trying to make it look as generic as possible.

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