The Death of Louis XIV

The Death of Louis XIV

Director: Albert Serra

2016, France/Portugal/Spain, 115 minutes, DCP

Language: In French with English subtitles

 

Cast: Jean-Pierre Léaud

Program Notes

Versailles, August 1715. Back from hunting, Louis XIV–magisterially interpreted by New Wave icon and honorary Palme d’Or recipient Jean-Pierre Léaud–feels pain in his leg. A serious fever erupts, which marks the beginning of the agony of the greatest King of France. Surrounded by a horde of doctors and his closest counselors who come in turns at his bedside sensing the impending power vacuum, the Sun King struggles to run the country from his bed. Based on extensive medical records and the memoirs of the Duke of Saint-Simon and other courtiers, The Death of Louis XIV is a wry neoclassical chamber drama, a work of pure magic by Albert Serra, one of today’s most singular directors.
 
REVIEWS
 
“A mesmerizing elegy.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
 
“The most beautiful film at Cannes 2016.”
– Jonathan Romney, Sight and Sound
 
“An instant classic.”
Filmmaker Magazine
 
“Serra has crafted a ravishing, darkly witty evocation of 18th-century aristocracy and a neoclassical period piece as reminiscent of the historical films of Visconti and Rossellini as the modernist literary adaptations of Rohmer and Oliveira.”
– Jordan Cronk, Film Comment