In adapting the 17th-century Spanish playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca, it’s only natural that Ruiz would go off-book, and for Life Is a Dream, de la Barca’s La vida es sueño is only a jumping-off point for the director to tackle the 1971 coup in his homeland of Chile. Sylvain Thirolle stars as a literature professor who uses lines from the play as a mnemonic device to memorize the names of 15,000 disappeared Chilean dissidents. Alongside glimpses of lurid period drama and a hilarious Star Wars send-up, Ruiz features footage from his own Avignon staging of the play to interrogate the dubious feedback loop between experience and thought, and the brokerage of dreams (to say nothing of cinema) in reconstructing memory. Print from the collection of the Cinémathèque française.