The Jean Vigo Award goes to Last Days of Louis XIV
by Fabien Lemercier
- Albert Serra’s new film has joined the winning ranks of a prize that rewards originality and potential; Paul Vecchiali was also handed an Honorary Jean Vigo Award
Intended to honour a filmmaker’s independent mind-set, originality and quality, the 64th Jean Vigo Award has been bestowed upon Albert Serra’s Last Days of Louis XIV [+see also:
interview: Albert Serra
film profile], which was unveiled as a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival. The Catalan director, who was awarded “for his particular way of capturing history and his movies that are both splendid yet casual at the same time, which make him a unique filmmaker”, joins a list of names including Jean-Luc Godard, Maurice Pialat, Alain Resnais, Claude Chabrol, Philippe Garrel, Olivier Assayas, Bruno Dumont, Laurent Cantet, Xavier Beauvois and even Alain Guiraudie.
Following subjects like Don Quixote in Honour of the Knights (Quixotic) [+see also:
film profile] (Directors’ Fortnight 2006), the Three Wise Men in Birdsong (Directors’ Fortnight 2008) and the meeting between Dracula and Casanova in Story of My Death [+see also:
interview: Albert Serra
film profile] (winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard in 2013), this time around, Serra tackled an adaptation (in the form of a screenplay he penned with Thierry Lounas) of the memoires written by the Duke of Saint-Simon, as well as the character of the Sun King, Louis XIV, a role portrayed by the iconic Jean-Pierre Léaud.
Produced by Thierry Lounas for Capricci Films (which is also responsible for the feature’s international sales and French distribution, which will take place at a yet-to-be-determined date), Last Days of Louis XIV was co-produced with Portuguese outfit Rosa Films, Spanish production house Andergraun Films and French company Bobi Lux.
It is worth pointing out that Davy Chou and his feature film Diamond Island [+see also:
film profile] also caught the eye of the Jean Vigo jury this year. The film, which was unveiled in the Critics’ Week at Cannes, was produced by Aurora Films.
An Honorary Jean Vigo Award was given to Paul Vecchiali, who, as a filmmaker and producer, “tirelessly pursued a unique and independent endeavour that has left its mark on and influenced more than half a century of French film”. As a final note, the 2016 Jean Vigo Award for short film crowned Le Gouffre by Vincent Le Port (produced by Stank).
(Translated from French)