During the 1900 World Exposition in Paris, the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt met Lea de Castro. To him she seemed like a fantastic muse, the personification of his heroic ideals and his carnal desires. The film focuses on the artist’s passion for the woman, his fight for creative freedom, his tireless battle for new forms of expression, and Vienna’s reaction to the social and artistic spirit that swept the city between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. “This film is not a linear biopic of the life and times of Gustav Klimt. It is more a fantasy, or, if you like, a phantasmagory. Rather more like one of his paintings, in which material and imaginary figures blend and spiral around a central point: the painter Klimt. I intend to draw on the unique stylistic characteristic of Klim’s artwork, the prevailing beauty, excess of colour, spatial distortion and complex angles in order to bring to life and illuminate one of the riches, most contradictory and eerie epochs in modern history.” (R. Ruiz)
Raúl Ruiz (Puerto Montt, Chile, 1941) took up cinema in Argentina. After returning to Chile he was involved in avant-garde theater. In 1968, he debuted in film with Three Sad Tigers, Golden Leopard in Locarno. Forced into exile after Pinochet’s coup d’état, he found refuge in France. He made his name on the international scene with The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting. He has then directed over one hundred films, making him one of the most prolific directors of all time. In 1996 he made Three Lives and Only One Death, the second to the last film Marcello Mastroianni acted in; the next year he received a Silver Bear in Berlin for Genealogies of a Crime.
filmografia essenziale/essential filmography Tres tristes tigres (1968), L’hypothèse du tableau volé (1979), La ville des pirates (La città dei pirati, 1983), L’éveillé du Pont de l’Alma (1985), Trois vies et une seule mort (Tre vite e una sola morte, 1996), Généalogie d’un crime (Genealogia di un crimine, 1997), Shattered Image (Autopsia di un sogno, 1998), Le temps retrouvé (Il tempo ritrovato, 1999), Les âmes fortes (2001), Cofralandes, rapsodia chilena (2002), Médée (2003), Días de campo (2004), Le domaine perdu (2005), Klimt (2006), La recta provincia (2007), Nucingen Haus (Miss Christine, 2008), L’estate breve (doc., 2010), Mistérios de Lisboa (2010).