Raul Ruiz

Reaching back into the pantheon of war movies over the course of film history, there are countless films about Vietnam, WWII, The Civil War, and the Revolutionary War. Amongst that pantheon, it’s difficult to pick out a film about the Napoleonic Wars… though did we need to? Not exactly. Valeria Sarmiento’s Lines of Wellington, a project she took over from her late husband, director Raúl Ruiz (whose finished film, Night Across The Street, is also in the NYFF 2012 Main Slate), takes place during the Napoleonic War in 1810 Portugal, as the Portuguese sided with the British against the French. With nearly a three-hour running time, the film attempts to cover a broad spectrum of characters and history. It definitely looks great, with impressive production values and a somewhat A-List cast, but ultimately it is too expansive not to be a miniseries (a longer cut of the film will air as a miniseries in Portugal). The film focuses on several interwoven stories. These include Portuguese Sergeant Francisco Xavier (Nuno Lopez) who falls in love with British army wife Maureen (Jemima West) after her husband dies in battle. The British General Wellington (John Malkovich) who has issues with all paintings that royal painter Lévêque (Vincent Perez) produces… he also takes issue with his namesake dish “Beef Wellington.” Injured young Portuguese soldier Lieutenant Pedro de Alencar (Carloto Cotta) who takes shelter in the home of an older woman, Dona Filipa (Marisa Paredes). Also, sexually rambunctious seventeen-year-old British girl Clarissa Warren (Victória Guerra), […]

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There’s a Raúl Ruiz movie coming out in less than a month? Why wasn’t I informed? What did I join the Raúl Ruiz Fan Club Mailing List for if not important announcements like that? In the same year that we got fresh Godard, filmmaking legend Ruiz is releasing Mysteries of Lisbon, his period piece based on Camilo Castelo Branco’s 19th century novel of the same name. It’s time to rejoice. The film tells the story of a young bastard child who wants to learn about his family and uncovers a lustful truth involving his mother, a jealous Count,  and a forbidden love. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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