Roberto Rossellini

The Taking of Power by Louis XIV

The Taking of Power by Louis XIV

Filmmaking legend Roberto Rossellini brings his passion for realism and unerring eye for the everyday to this portrait of the early years of the reign of France’s “Sun King,” and in the process reinvents the costume drama. The death of chief minister Cardinal Mazarin, the construction of the palace at Versailles, the extravagant meals of the royal court: all are recounted with the same meticulous quotidian detail that Rossellini brought to his contemporary portraits of postwar Italy. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV dares to place a larger-than-life figure at the level of mere mortal.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer
  • Taking Power, a multimedia essay by Tag Gallagher, author of The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini
  • Video interview with artistic advisor Jean Dominique de la Rochefoucauld and script supervisor Michelle Podroznik
  • Video interview with Renzo Rossellini
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by critic Colin MacCabe

New cover by Sarah Habibi

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer
  • Taking Power, a multimedia essay by Tag Gallagher, author of The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini
  • Video interview with artistic advisor Jean Dominique de la Rochefoucauld and script supervisor Michelle Podroznik
  • Video interview with Renzo Rossellini
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by critic Colin MacCabe

New cover by Sarah Habibi

The Taking of Power by Louis XIV
Cast
Jean-Marie Patte
Louis
Raymond Jourdan
Colbert
Silvagni
Cardinal Mazarin
Katharina Renn
Anne d’Autriche
Dominique Vincent
Madame du Plessis
Pierre Barrat
Fouquet
Fernand Fabre
Le Tellier
Françoise Ponty
Louise de la Vallière
Joelle Laugeois
Marie-Thérèse
Credits
Director
Roberto Rossellini
Written and adapted by
Philippe Erlanger
Written and adapted by
Jean Gruault
Photographed by
Georges Leclerc
Photographed by
Jean-Louis Picavet
Editing
Armand Ridel
Production design
Maurice Valay
Costumes
Christiane Coste

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From the Rossellini Archives
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Oct 6, 2010
Inside the Court of Louis XIV
Inside the Court of Louis XIV

This week marks the long-anticipated release of Roberto Rossellini’s beloved The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, the crowning achievement of the filmmaker’s remarkable end-of-career endeavor to capture the history of human knowledge in a series of…


Jan 14, 2009
The Taking of Power by Louis XIV:Long Live the Cinema!
The Taking of Power by Louis XIV:
Long Live the Cinema!

In 1962, Roberto Rossellini called a press conference in a bookshop in Rome and announced that the cinema was dead. “There’s a crisis not just in film but culture as a whole,” he explained. Increasingly, Rossellini had understood the great task…

By Colin MacCabe

On Film / Essays — Dec 22, 2008

Explore

Roberto Rossellini

Director

A founder of Italian neorealism, Roberto Rossellini brought to filmmaking a documentary-like authenticity and a philosophical stringency. After making films under Mussolini’s fascist regime early in his career, Rossellini broke out with Rome Open City, a shattering and vivid chronicle of the Nazi occupation of Italy’s capital, followed by Paisan and Germany Year Zero, which round out his “war trilogy.” Rossellini’s adulterous affair with Ingrid Bergman led to the biggest controversy of his career (they were both condemned by the United States Senate) but also to another trilogy—Stromboli, Europa ’51, and Voyage to Italy, all starring Bergman and all about spiritual crises; they were dismissed at the time of their release but are widely praised now. Through the 1950s, Rossellini experimented with different forms, offering an ascetic religious film (The Flowers of St. Francis), a documentary about India (India), and a wartime melodrama that was one of his biggest hits (Il Generale Della Rovere). In the final phase of his career, after calling a news conference and announcing, “Cinema is dead,” Rossellini turned to historical television dramas about major subjects and figures (Louis XIV, Blaise Pascal, Descartes, the Medicis), made with a rational, almost scientific approach. As always, he yearned to show life’s minutiae unadorned, bare and pure. Echoes of Rossellini’s approach to filmmaking are still felt in movements around the world, from China to Iran to South America to the United States. It’s fair to say modern cinema wouldn’t exist as we know it without him.