Bertrand Tavernier’s (Life and Nothing But) Let Joy Reign Supreme_, is a “rich, ambitious” (Newsweek), extraordinarily detailed and character-dense look at French monarchy, diplomacy and debauchery on the threshold of bloody insurrection. Tavernier’s favorite leading man Philippe Noiret (_Life and Nothing But, Cinema Paradiso) plays the infamous Philippe d’Orleans, uncrowned king of a nation divided by appalling poverty and riddled with greed and conspiracy.
In the year 1720, Philippe d’Orleans rules France as regent to the late Louis XIV’s pre-teen heir. Socially liberal but financially reckless, Philippe stokes his treasury with profits from France’s American colonies Louisiana and Mississippi, even while attempting to administer domestic justice with a slightly even hand. But Philippe’s strongest allegiance is to a barely concealed private life of outrageous hedonism and sexual appetites. Witness and provocateur in both whorehouse debauches and court functions is Abbé Dubois (Jean Rochefort), Philippe’s scheming would-be archbishop. When a hapless noble’s one man secession lands him at the steps of the Paris gallows, Dubois’ lust for power and Philippe’s obsession with his beautiful young goddaughter create a political pressure cooker that could lead to invasion, revolt or war.
Rochefort’s brilliant turn as the gleefully treacherous Dubois and Christine Pascal as Philippe’s orgy accomplice and confidant Emilie lead a supporting cast of bottomless enthusiasm and charisma. A miraculous fusion of unabashed ribaldry, even-handed history, extravagant production values and directorial restraint, Let Joy Reign Supreme “is sumptuously beautiful, delightfully intelligent, genuinely wicked and witty.” (The New Republic) –Kino
One of France’s premiere directors, screenwriters, and producers, Bertrand Tavernier is renowned for making dramas encompassing themes as diverse as familial relationships, World War I, and contemporary social ills. Regardless of the subjects they explore, Tavernier lends his films great introspection and humanity, something that has established him as one of the French cinema’s more progressive and compassionate figures.
Born in Lyon on April 25, 1941, Tavernier grew up with a love of film and wanted to be a director from the age of 13. He was particularly influenced by such American directors as Joseph Losey, John Ford, Samuel Fuller, and William Wellman, and – during a spell at the Sorbonne, where he studied law – he became involved in the film industry as an assistant director for Jean-Pierre Melville. Tavernier became then a film critic and worked for prestigious publications as Positif and Cahiers du Cinema. His first feature film, L’Horloger de St. Paul (1974), received international… read more