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Discussing "The Death of Louis Xiv" with Albert Serra

The death of a king, the death of cinema: in Albert Serra’s La mort de Louis Xiv we watch French New Wave legend Jean-Pierre Léaud embody the Sun King as a living body sinking into the shadows, slipping away while his attendants, doctors and sycophants carefully tend to him as if all will be fine. But will it? An actor synonymous with the 1960s re-invention of cinema, made in close collaboration with such epoch-defining directors as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Jacques Rivette, Léaud is now 71, five years younger than the age the most ambitious, powerful, and famous of French kings died of gangrene. The title spoils the fun on purpose: Albert Serra’s film is not about what happens; rather, it’s paying homage a king among men, the fading into the dark of a man inseparable from modern cinema.Those familiar with this Catalan director’s radical

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