La Présence réelle

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A good example of how Ruiz, given a perfectly straightforward commission, will deliver anything but the expected. Ostensibly an essay on the Avignon Festival, it starts off with an actor puzzling over his 'virtual' presence on a videodisc about a Festival that hasn't happened yet, but where he can nevertheless be seen. If this sort of meditation on real and imaginary presence - on the differences between film, theatre, filmed theatre and theatrical cinema - had been developed more cohesively, it would have been a much more gripping film. But then it wouldn't have been Ruiz. As it is, the Gothic horror imagery, run-of-the-mill Magritte allusions, and staggeringly cut-rate special effects - felt pen on glass - are so many prodigal throwaways from a man who's often plagued with too many ideas for his own good.

By: JRo

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Raúl Ruiz
Screenwriter: Raul Ruiz
Cast: Franck Oger
Nadège Clair
Camila Mora
Catherine Oudin
Louis Castel
Jean-Loup Rivière