Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling, sometimes excessively lavish baroque scenery, music and costume, but this time in its... See full summary »
Aging opera singer Joachim Dallayrac retires from the stage and retreats to the countryside to school two young singers, Sophie and Jean. Although the rigorous training takes its toll on ... See full summary »
José van Dam,
Farinelli, is the artistic name of Carlo Broschi, a young singer in Handel's time. He was castrated in his childhood in order to preserve his voice. During his life he becomes to be a very ... See full summary »
Enrico Lo Verso,
The title of this major French costume drama means "Louis, child-king", and indeed it's a fascinating fresco about the formative years of the young king Louis XIV, before he became the ... See full summary »
In 1671, with war brewing with Holland, a penniless prince invites Louis XIV to three days of festivities at a chateau in Chantilly. The prince wants a commission as a general, so the ... See full summary »
It's late 17th century. The viola da gamba player Monsieur de Sainte Colombe comes home to find that his wife died while he was away. In his grief he builds a small house in his garden into... See full summary »
Jeanne Poisson, the headstrong, ambitious foxy daughter of fishmonger and married to a physician, but witty and erudite, catches the eye and heart of French King Louis XV at a costumed ball... See full summary »
Hélène de Fougerolles,
Charlotte de Turckheim
Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling, sometimes excessively lavish baroque scenery, music and costume, but this time in its ultimate setting: Versailles. There are two protagonists - first the title character, Louis XIV, the French sun-king who has two passions, establishing absolute rule over the realm -after decades of religious/civil wars- by divine right and artistic brilliancy as a dancer (like Nero wrote and performed musical poetry), and starts asserting himself against the entourage of his Medici mother, the regent during his minority, by building his palace complex and launching a 'fitting' new, mainly musical display of baroque show. Secondly the musical genius Gianbattista Lulli ('Jean-Baptiste') Lully, a Florentine upstart of unbridled ambition, quickly gains the king's absolute trust, despite the nationalist and aristocratic opposition to a low-born Italian, and thus turns the normally socially humble post ... Written by
What a relief to see a film about the 17th century that does not feature Gerard Depardieu! Wonderful fashion detailing and locations support a serious history lesson on how music and theater were key to the success of Louis XIV. One of the best exemplars of how young men measure themselves by their physical abilities, the film provides a unique timeline for the long reign of Louis. He grows from an unsure child into a confident (well, yes, arrogant) man -- and partly this is accomplished through his passionate involvement in music and dance. Think of the foolish Emperor in "Amadeus," telling Mozart there are "too many notes," and then see this depiction of a king who actually understands and appreciates music. Yes, of course, peasants were mistreated and millions starved, but we don't see that part of 17th century France. That is another story, another film. This one is stunningly beautiful; like great art, some of these images may never fade from your mind's eye.
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