The Death of Louis XIV

La Mort de Louis XIV

Albert SerraFrance / Portugal / Spain115 minutes2016PGColourFrench

Sun
Jul 16
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Nouvelle vague legend Jean-Pierre Léaud takes the title role as the expiring French monarch in the stylistically rigorous and strangely transcendent new film from visionary Spanish auteur Albert Serra (Story of My Death). Taking place largely within the confines of Louis' Versailles bedchamber in August 1715, the film patiently observes as the "Sun King" suffers through the advancing stages of a nasty case of gangrene, his audience of servants, doctors, and loyal dogs anxiously watching his every effort and gesture for signs of an unlikely recovery. Treading a fine line between incongruous humour and stirring pathos, Serra's slow, de-spectacularized portrait of suffering is simultaneously an exegesis on voyeurism, an ironic commentary on the absurdity and anachronism of royal rituals, and a moving meditation on mortality.

Experimental + Avant-gardeBiographyIllness + DeathArt + DesignHistory