Raul Ruiz, 70, a Chilean-born filmmaker who made more than 100 films in his teeming, international career and worked to put cinema on an artistic par with literature, died Friday at a Paris hospital following complications from a pulmonary infection, said Francois Margolin, a producer of several of the director’s films.

A favorite of cinephiles, Ruiz rebelled against the conventions of moviemaking in an extensive, varied body of work that didn’t result in a widely known masterpiece but left behind a vast, labyrinthine collection of experiments, curiosities and innovations.

“Mysteries of Lisbon,” Ruiz’s 4 1/2-hour adaptation of Camilo Castelo Branco’s 19th century novel about Portuguese aristocracy, opened this month in Los Angeles and New York.

Among the other films Ruiz directed were “Klimt,” a 2006 drama featuring John Malkovich as Austrian artist Gustav Klimt; “Time Regained,” a Marcel Proust adaptation that starred Malkovich and Catherine Deneuve; “Genealogies of a Crime,” a psychological mystery starring Deneuve; and “Three Lives and Only One Death,” starring Marcello Mastroianni in one of his final roles before his death in 1996.

Ruiz was born July 25, 1941, the son of a ship’s captain. He studied law, cinema and theology before directing his first feature-length film, “Three Sad Tigers” (1968).


He fled to Europe in 1973 after military strongman Augusto Pinochet seized power in a coup. Since the mid-1970s, Ruiz had lived in Paris with his wife, Valeria Sarmiento, a film editor with whom he often collaborated.

-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports