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Special Screenings Update : 04.05.17 . 12:26 PM

Louis XIV's death throes by Albert Serra

Film still of La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV)

Film still of La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV) © Capricci

The extravagant Albert Serra presents the unclassifiable La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV) in Special Screenings: a deconstruction of the Sun King's final hours, with Jean-Pierre Léaud as an absolute yet faltering monarch.

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".

Death throes are hardly a beautiful or varied spectacle, even those of a king. They're not even a spectacle. I therefore didn't want to dramatize texts by Saint-Simon or Dangeau.

The Spanish director and the legendary boy from The 400 Blows work together harmoniously. The two artists share "the same aesthetic and moral understanding of life" and, paradoxically given the theme of this feature film, self-mockery.

Jean-Pierre Léaud will be present on stage at the Grand Théâtre Lumière on 22nd May for the Awards Ceremony to receive an honorary Palme d’or for his entire career.

Written by Charlotte Pavard

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Special Screenings Released on 19.05.16

Louis XIV's death throes by Albert Serra

The extravagant Albert Serra presents the unclassifiable La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV) in Special Screenings: a deconstruction of the Sun King's final hours, with Jean-Pierre Léaud as an absolute yet faltering monarch.

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Special Screenings19.05.16

Louis XIV's death throes by Albert Serra

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