The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting | Chicago Reader

The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting

Raul Ruiz's ingenious 1978 puzzle film, about a series of seven mediocre paintings that, for reasons now lost, touched off a scandal in 19th-century Paris. As an offscreen narrator and an on-screen authority (identified only as “the collector”) argue over the hidden meanings of the paintings, Ruiz's parody of educational television turns into a serious investigation of the ordering, analysis, and ultimate illegibility of images—in other words, of the filmmaking process.

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