THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV (2016) [Feature]

Portugal,Spain (MIFF 2016 , International Panorama)
Director: Albert Serra

"A ravishing, darkly witty evocation of 18th-century aristocracy … as reminiscent of the historical films of Visconti and Rossellini as the modernist literary adaptations of Rohmer and Oliveira." – Film Comment

The Sun King is dying. After the longest reign in European history, Louis XIV (Jean-Pierre Léaud, subject of a 2014 MIFF retrospective) contracts gangrene and spends his final days confined to his bedchamber. As a procession of visitors pay their respects, Louis comes to terms with his encroaching mortality.

Albert Serra (The Story of My Death, MIFF 2014) is a master of patient observation, and The Death of Louis XIV is his most beautifully composed work to date; its dark interiors reminiscent of a Renaissance painting. It also features a magnificently subtle central performance: Léaud as a demi-god increasingly incapacitated by disease.

Winner of the 2016 Prix Jean Vigo.

"A modest yet profound contemplation of mortality and history … perhaps the most beautiful film seen in Cannes this year." – Sight & Sound

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