Raúl Ruiz, Speculative Bricoleur: Pedagogical and Televisual Ruptures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The prolific Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz was given to speculate about the possibilities emanating from the poetic merging of theory and practice in cinema. This was part of a lifelong commitment to the exploration of new ways to stimulate the “introspection” that he believed crews, audiences, and students require to foster the creativity annulled by the “uniformity of narrative” prevalent in the mainstream film industry. His Poetics of Cinema amounted to an ongoing synthesis of such speculations, an intuitive endeavor that informed his creative practice. Ruiz’s predilection for bricolage, a conscious method for improvisation he used not only as a speculative theorist and maker but also as a teacher of film to create poetic effects, materialized in a permanent combinatory, creative, joyful play, offering insights into the knowledge and experience underpinning his praxis. In this chapter, I shed critical light on two of Ruiz’s final parallel bifurcations : firstly, his work as a teacher of film studies in UK Higher Education , specifically at the University of Aberdeen (2007–9) and, secondly, the production and prime-time broadcast in Chile of two folklore-inspired TV miniseries, La recta provincia (CL, 2007) and Litoral (CL, 2008). Ruiz’s usual subversion of the conventional ways of doing signified granting these parallel projects an oblique poetic dimension that made them deviate from the norm, themselves becoming ruptures to the established orders of the education and television systems respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRaúl Ruiz's Cinema of Inquiry
EditorsIgnacio López-Vicuña, Andreea Marinescu
Place of PublicationDetroit
PublisherWayne State University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-8143-4107-0
ISBN (Print)978-0-8143-4106-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameContemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series

Bibliographical note

The translations from Spanish in this chapter are my own. I presented a first draft of this chapter at the Film and Philosophy conference in Dundee in 2009, kindly invited by Michael Goddard to participate in his Ruiz panel there. I am also indebted to Alan Marcus for generously permitting me to attend Professor Ruiz’s courses at Aberdeen.


  • film
  • cinema
  • poetics
  • bricolage
  • film studies
  • Raúl Ruiz
  • television
  • pedagogy


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