Raoul Ruiz, French-Chilean filmmaker, dead at 70

August 19, 2011 - 1:55 PM
France Obit Raoul Ruiz

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2007 file photo, Chilean director Raoul Ruiz gestures before the screening of his film

PARIS (AP) — Raoul Ruiz, a French-Chilean filmmaker who directed John Malkovich in a role as Austrian artist Gustav Klimt and worked to put cinema on an artistic par with literature, has died. He was 70.

Ruiz died Friday at Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris following complications from a pulmonary infection, said Francois Margolin, a producer of several of the dozens of films by the director.

Ruiz directed Malkovich as the famed Austrian art nouveau painter in "Klimt," from 2006, as well as European film stars including French actresses Laetitia Casta and Catherine Deneuve and late Italian legend Marcello Mastroianni.

Ruiz fled to France from his native Chile in 1973 after military strongman Augusto Pinochet seized power in a coup.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed sadness at his passing and described him as a man of "immense erudition and infinite curiosity" and a "worthy son of the Enlightenment."