Filmed by Albert Serra like a macabre comedy around the death of the Sun King,
(Prix Jean-Vigo 2016) brings us a sick and grimacing Louis, a figure of protocol yet also grotesque, superbly played by Jean-Pierre Léaud (Palme d’Honneur at Cannes). The film is on theatrical release in Paris as of November 2.
This summer saw the release of the film Rester vertical, in which a director by the name of Léo is distracted from writing his script by desires that are both tyrannical and labile. When the story ends, Léo still has no film. But at least he has remained upright in relation to the desires that drive him. The new film by Albert Serra, freely inspired by Saint-Simon’s Memoirs and those of the Marquis de Dangeau, called La Mort de Louis XIV, relates exactly what its title says. It is an actor by the name of Léaud—Jean- Pierre—who plays the role of a Sun King whom we seldom see rise during the few weeks that separate his appearance, pushed in a chair around the garden at Versailles, from his death on September 1, 1715. The Catalonian director has always taken an interest in men lying on the grass or floating in the water, lounging on a banquette or leaning back in a carriage. This time it’s different: we spend so little time out of the