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Three Crowns of the Sailor

Las tres coronas del marinero
Les trois couronnes du matelot

France/Chile, 1983

Directed by: Raul Ruiz

Screenplay: François Ede, Raoul Ruiz, Emilio de Solar

Cast: Jean Badin, José de Carvalho, Nadège Clair, Phillippe Deplanche, Claude Derepp, Jean-Bernard Guillard, Raoul Guillet, Lisa Lyon, Franck Oger, Hugo Santiago

Produced by: Paulo Branco Maya Feuiette Jean Lefaux José Luís Vasconcelos

Original music by: Jorge Arriagada

Cinematography by: Sacha Vierny

Film Editing by: Valeria Sarmiento, Jacqueline Simoni, Pascale Sueur, Janine Verneau


Raul Ruiz
Raul Ruiz
About the Film/maker

Left Cinema from Chile via Paris
The Raul Thing
Genealogies of a Crime
Film Scouts: Raul Ruiz
Ruiz Filmography
Picpal: Raul Ruiz

Three Crowns of the Sailor poster

The form of visual polysemia that I want to treat first comes about when we watch a film whose apparent narrative logic sticks more or less to a storyline, and whose wanderings, cracks, and zigzag trails can be explained by a secret plan. The plan might be nothing more than a unexplicit film whose strong points are found in the weak points of the apparent one. A normal film always balances moments of intensity with others of distraction or repose.

Imagine that these moments of repose tell another story, make up another film, one which plays with the apparent film, contradicting it, speculating on it, prolonging it. Now let's suppose that these two imagined films, one apparent, the other hidden, function together according to a secret structure. This structure is neither subject matter nor enigma, but rather an arbitrary although coherent plan, like the genetic code that is said to determine a person's character—or again, like the plan of a symphonic poem, minutely exacting and swarming with turnabouts, but of which nothing will ever be known, because the plan will be destroyed the moment the work is finished. Let us try to imagine a few poetic figures capable of linking the strong film to the weak one. It is now taken for granted that this narrative resides in the secret plan. We will suppose that this secret plan is Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner.