The Rise to Power of Louis XIV

Made in 23 days for French television, The Rise to Power of Louis XIV is now regarded by progressive filmmakers as a key exemplary work of New Cinema, a film that is revolutionary on two interconncted levels. On the level of content, Rossellini's treatment rejects the idealistic and stage-psychological views of history characteristic of movie recreations for a clear, materialist analysis of the objective social and economic phenomena that made Louis XIV “make” history. At the level of narrative presentation, the film rejects all cliches of melodrama for a clear linear exposition of an argument that exploits Brechtian techniques of alienation in structuring an historical tableau free of the heavy conventions of bourgeois spectacle cinema.

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