Two important filmmakers died today.
Raul Ruiz, who's film Mysteries of Lisbon is playing around the country died today from a lung infection. He made 100 films in his 50 year career and was a major force in Chilean and South American film.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center has a few words on his passing here.
I'm not sure how to phrase this but the death of Gaultiero Jacopetti at the age of 91 is culturally a bigger loss. Why would a man who only made a handful of films be the bigger cultural loss? Simply because for better or worse he, along with Franco Prosperi changed the way we see the world through the Mondo Cane films.
The two Mondo Cane films (and pretty much everything they did after it) slowly bent how the world is presented in films and on TV. It would be cliche to say that just the name Mondo Cane changed the world by putting the term Mondo into the vocabulary, however it was more than that. Simply put the way that they presented their documentary subjects gritty down and dirty in your face with a weary knowing narration that was both informative but also cutting (of the subject and of it's audience) is how many shows present the world. In a way the Mondo Cane films were like sitting at the computer for 90 minutes and watching random You Tube clips.
If you don't think his films changed the world start with the Mondo Cane movies and then work out to both the explosion of films of similar nature (including Faces of Death) to the similarly titled films and then trace it into culture and you'll see what a mean.
Jacopetti changed the world, not sure for the better or worse but he altered everything that followed.
Oh yea, and he was a damn fine filmmaker as evidenced by his Africa Addio and Goodbye Uncle Tom.
The New York Times Obit can be found here.
We are a less richer culture with his passing.