29 thoughts on “18th Century Quest: One Nation, One King (2018)

  1. I was really delighted with this film! OK, Louis Garrel is more tall and angular, less pixie-nosed and winsome than the real Robespierre, but I got the idea that by casting a contemporary movie pin-up boy, they were conveying that he was v much the pin-up boy of the Revolution (who had literally screaming fangirls in the public galleries and used to get provocative fanmail from them, no doubt to his intense embarrassment!). Marat and Saint-Just look especially good – for Saint-Just, compare the pastel portrait by Angélique Louise Verrier in particular for the hairstyle.
    Re: backs of wigs, Robespierre’s isn’t right, I suspect because Louis Garrel doesn’t have very long hair in reality, so it would have required a kind of ‘double-wigging’. If you look at the back of the Deseine bust, Robespierre’s wig leaves his natural back hair exposed: that was either worn in a queue or loose, but was unpowdered, giving a two-tone look.
    (The oval portrait at Versailles shows this – long golden-brown hair at the back.
    http://collections.chateauversailles.fr/?permid=permobj_6172a9b6-0108-4dff-94a8-7f01e9e4b7bf ) See also my user icon, a 1793 engraving of him with back hair loose under wig.

    1. Sure, in the 1790s, there was an increasing use of natural hair amongst the politically liberal — but they also wore half wigs, which actually covered the BACK side of the head (ie the long queue) and used the wearer’s own hair as the front shorter portion. But almost all late 18th c. hairstyles or wigstyles had that same short in front/sides/top, long in back cut — that doesn’t indicate whether or not it’s the wearer’s own hair, it’s simply the style.

      1. Yup. Robespierre’s is a half-wig that only covers the front (the bust shows it clearly). From a sketch of him the day of his death without a wig (by Parseval-Grandmaison), I suspect it’s because his hairline was receding a little bit at the front…

  2. You on wigs sound like me on old-West firearms in “The Salvation.” Not just appropriate models for the people/economic level/era, they had to do things like reload. I kind of understand wigs are not easy to make, I’m sure, but you’d think with so many painted period references they’d make a skotch more effort more often!

        1. I only see it for sale on Amazon $35+ for DVD in Euro format with only Italian or Spanish subtitles.

  3. This looks wonderful, and I can’t wait to find it … but Marat, with his fur collar, reminds me of something that occasionally bothers me about costume flicks. From time to time I see costume designs that are not just inspired by, but are directly copied from, portraits of real people. And sometimes that’s okay – a famous queen appearing onscreen in a well-known and documented gown, for example. But portraits are still secondary references, and don’t always reflect what was actually worn, or what would have been worn under everyday circumstances. Is there actually documentation describing someone wearing an exotic animal fur collar like that out on the street? Was it more common than we realize for the period? It seems so out of place, but maybe there are other period images/portraits showing that kind of garment?

    1. The fur in the portrait looks like a cheap one that has been made to look more exotic: the spots look painted on.

      1. It was also a major trend in military headgear. Dragoons of the ancien regime French army (and other European armies) wore a helmet of boiled leather with a peak, which had a band (known as a ‘turban’) of “leopardskin”. Some of these will indeed have been real leopard fur, as worn by Louis XVI’s father the Dauphin as in your Pinterest page, but it isn’t remotely plausible that the average private’s turban was. Probably regulation-issue ones were made of cowskin or similar, painted to simulate leopard, or actual fake fur. In 1791 the French army adopted this helmet for their newly-raised infantry as well, including the ‘peau de panthère’ turban, and some surviving examples of these are clearly fake fur, e.g: model-1791-revolutionary-light-infantry-helmet-168527,
        or just painted textile:

        So yes, ‘leopard-look’ was massively à la mode in period, and spanned the entire price range from real leopard to crudely painted canvas.

  4. Glad that you enjoyed the wigs. Good to see the women of the Revolution get proper credit. Too bad Napoleon took their accomplishments away from them with his stupid Code.

  5. I’ll have to check it out. Sadly Netflix doesn’t have it yet. I was aware of La Révolution française (1989), but made it a point to see it based on Frock Flick’s recommendation and loved it. I likewise saw The Lady and the Duke (2001) because of Frock Flicks.

  6. I did’nt saw the film because it’s just not positive and my time researching that period is over. I find that the casting of the lower-class very good looking, not too well fed girls. The wigs are very nice.
    I prefer actors like Balmer in such a role like Louis XVI.

  7. Correct back-hair styling, both natural and wig? That is just admirable. But what odd royalty casting: Louis XVI looked like a big, good-natured farm boy, and this actor is fairly hot in an introspective way.

  8. Stringy : didn’t know that word.Well, that’s «filasse» «cheveux filasse» or «blond filasse» in french. (Loose and unwashed, undefined color)
    Google translate said «filandreux» but this one is for a fibrous meat.
    Adèle Haenel , Françoise in this movie, to be seen in «portrait of a lady on fire».

  9. Have you checked out the 1964 (unsubtitled) TV drama ‘La Terreur et la Vertu: Robespierre’? Low-budget b/w TV production, but costumes are worth a look. Éléonore gets some screen-time. Jean Négroni looks handsome as Max.

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