La ville des pirates

La Ville des pirates (City of pirates in the english version) is a 1983 French fantasy film directed by Raúl Ruiz. Made during Ruiz’s most active and fruitful era of filmmaking, the film is considerably one of Ruiz’ best works and exemplifies several recurring themes, motifs and elements of the Chilean director’s style including surrealism, neo-baroque cinematography, deep depth of field, the ocean and piracy, childhood, mythology, navigation, dreamscapes, and schizophrenia. City of Pirates isn’t a film that can be understood in terms of plot or plot analysis, as it doesn’t have a particular plot in a conventional or linear sense. Commonly described of as a surrealist exposition and film fantastique, City of pirates primarily follows a main character named Isidore (Anne Alvaro) through multiple episodes of non sequitur events and narrative points that, in themselves, operate in an allegorical and dreamlike nature. City of Pirates was shot in Portugal with a primarily French cast in a period of only three weeks. The script was produced alongside the shooting of the film. Ruiz would write the script through a process of automatic writing, where he continually tweaked the script to fit scenes already produced. Michael Goddard notes that “Ruiz would write the script each day immediately after the siesta; hence, in effect, dream the script rather than writing it.” Due to this writing process, it becomes evident that the film is heavily influenced from conceptions of dreams and their relationship to storytelling and the visual.

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