The Golden Boat

The Golden Boat

A film by Raúl Ruiz

The Golden Boat, Raúl Ruiz, EUA-Bélgica, 1990, 83'

A music critic and a deranged serial killer embark upon an absurd journey through 1990s’ Manhattan. There is no shortage of international bohemians, hipsters with airs and graces and femme fatales throughout their aimless wandering. The Golden Boat is one of the most splendid works by the Chilean film maker Raúl Ruiz. An exception to his exile in France, the cast includes prominent figures from North American independent cinema such as Jim Jarmusch, Barbet Schroeder and Michael Kirby.

La telenovela errante (2017) premiered two years ago in Locarno. A lost film of Ruiz's and released posthumously, it parodies Chile’s soap operas and their love triangles. The Golden boat is part of the genre that takes a parodical look at the soap opera phenomenon. Like a bizarre and melodramatic episode of Twin Peaks, the events in Ruiz's film happen with no logical cause. Each strange and parodical story is bolstered by the lowest of TV tricks: close-ups, exacerbated expressions, fanciful use of music and a laugh track.

Premiered at the Rotterdam Festival in 1991 (where it won the Audience Award), it soon became a cult film that hardly anyone had seen. Now, thanks to a restoration project by the New York Museum of Modern Art and carte blanche from the Americana festival, we can finally bring it back.