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The Wandering Soap Opera (Dir. Raúl Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento, 1990/2017)

Dates: June 7-13, 2019

Times: 7:30pm & 9:55pm*

Location: Laemmle Music Hall | Glendale | Playhouse 7 |

NoHo 7 | Monica Film Center

Address: Various

New restoration! Co-presented by Laemmle.


Filmed by Chilean master Raúl Ruiz in 1990 but left unfinished until it was completed by his wife and collaborator Valeria Sarmiento in 2017, The Wandering Soap Opera is a dreamily interconnected series of vignettes that spoof on telenovela conventions while reflecting Ruiz's feelings upon returning to his native Chile after more than 15 years away. In one episode, a man seduces a woman by showing her his muscles, which are actually slabs of raw meat slapped into her hand. Later, the man has a gun pulled on him when he accuses a poet of plagiarism. Meanwhile, through the television screen, five women have lost their husbands after an earthquake and embrace a better future together. All along, back and forth across screens, people are watching.

Shot in gorgeous Super 16mm and featuring one zany performance after another from a cast having the time of their lives, The Wandering Soap Opera is a glorious sendup of the telenovela, which, at the end of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, Ruiz called the very best lens through which to understand "Chilean reality." (Cinema Guild)

*Note: The Wandering Soap Opera will screen at five different Laemmle locations from June 7-13. See below for full schedule.


June 7-13

Laemmle Music Hall: 9:55pm daily

Monday, June 10
Laemmle Glendale: 7:30pm


Tuesday, June 11
Laemmle Playhouse: 7:30pm

Wednesday, June 12

Laemmle NoHo: 7:30pm

Thursday, June 13

Laemmle Monica Film Center: 7:30pm


A genuinely subversive piece of work... This is a fine testament to [Ruiz's] cinematic career.

Joseph Owen, Upcoming

A hilarious spoof on Chile’s sociopolitical scene... Ruiz avoids melodrama, except to draw attention to its mawkish insincerity or expose it as a suspect vehicle of bankrupt ideas.

Tony Pipolo, Artforum

The purest and deepest of cinema's dreams. I could luxuriate in this film's environs forever! The completion of this work is a major event in the history of fun!

Guy Maddin, director of The Forbidden Room

A fragmented, sinuous, endlessly inventive work whose incessant flights of fancy feel radical now, to say nothing of when it was shot nearly thirty years ago.

James Lattimer, The House Next Door

A gift for Ruiz fans. In a somewhat Borgesian paradox, which seems entirely characteristic, the film can be seen as a sort of sequel to the director’s actual final film, Night Across the Street.

Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

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