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Watched: 13 December

Albert Serra’s latest film is a weirdly gripping, hypnotic take on the passing of Louis XIV, though it does at times feel like a tribute to the man who portrays the bedridden French king here (Jean-Pierre Léaud, very much still alive at the time of writing, who played the character Antoine in The 400 Blows as well as other, later Truffaut films). It’s strange to see a cinematic death eked out for roughly two hours – such events usually get a scene or two, and five minutes’ screen time at best – and I found the film’s slowness, thoroughness and quietness appealing enough as courtiers and dignitaries come and go and whisper their concerns; that said I doubt very much I’ll ever watch it again. (***)

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