Director Albert Serra is in the habit of working with non-professional actors: his castings are the result of an independent search, with actors plucked from among his friends and family or recruited among people he meets. La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV), his fourth film, was no exception, aside from the presence of a few theatre actors and the great figure of the French New Wave, Jean-Pierre Léaud, playing the title role of the Sun King.
A contemporary artist, the Catalan dandy sees each film as a performance. This one was shot in two weeks at Hautefort Castle in the Dordogne, and almost the entire story takes place behind closed doors in the monarch's reconstituted bedroom. To illustrate the end of this extraordinary 72-year reign, the director chose to show "the experience of death, pain taking over the body and mind, day after day, hour after hour".