The Death of Louis XIV
La mort de Louis XIV
2016, Albert Serra, France, 115 min. With Jean-Pierre Léaud.
- Sun, Mar 5th 3:00pm
“Surely the most beautiful film at Cannes 2016.” — Jonathan Romney, Sight and Sound
“Easily the most gripping film I saw in Melbourne…Much as certain novels can be described as page-turners, this film is incontestably a frame-turner.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film Comment
Director Serra (QUIXOTIC, BIRDSONG) continues his project of reinventing the period film in his most accessible and classically satisfying work to date. A legendary historical figure is portrayed by a legendary actor (Léaud in a magnificently concentrated performance), but the film shows, in precisely selected details, how even an absolute monarch must bow to the weight of time and fleshly decay. Stricken with gangrene, the Sun King struggles—gallantly, grouchily, poignantly—to maintain his royal bearing, as his every gesture is scrutinized by anxious courtiers and his well-meaning but bungling doctors attempt to keep him alive. In French with English subtitles. Courtesy of The Cinema Guild. DCP digital widescreen. (MR)