A New Cartographer?
This introductory chapter examines one of Raúl Ruiz's many short films, Zig-Zag (1980), a film that encapsulates many of the aesthetic themes and procedures that cross Ruiz's work as a whole. Zig-Zag, entitled Le Jeu de L'Oie: La Cartographie in French, can be considered as an allegory that condenses and emblematises not only themes from Ruiz's work as a whole, but also key dimensions of his filmmaking practice. One of the apparent concepts in his film is the idea of film as a form of impossible cartography. Rather than simply presenting an exhibition of maps, the film incorporates cartography gradually into its highly distinctive narrative structure in which a game is played out on a variety of levels, that is suggestive of a limbo space between life and death, and in which cartography itself is both interrogated and pushed to the cosmic level of an impossible cartography. In addition, the film not only engages with actual maps, but also with cartographic theories.
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