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UK / Germany / Italy, 2001 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

Director: Alan Taylor

According to the history books, Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821 in exile on the island of St Helena. Director Alan Taylor maintains that it was an imposter who croaked and that the real Napoleon was working undercover as a greengrocer, plotting to regain his lost empire! Part whimsical comedy, part superbly photographed and constructed period piece, The Emperor's New Clothes posits that a secret network of Bonaparte loyalists schemed to smuggle the diminutive dictator back to Paris. Once back in the capital the kindness of a widow and the spirit of the common folk transformed the military genius's life.

This delightful speculative fiction is propelled by the sterling performance of Ian Holm (The Sweet Hereafter, Brazil, Lord of the Rings) one of Britain's most respected living actors. Holm has excellent company in supporting cast members Iben Hjejle (High Fidelity) and Tim Mclnnerny (Blackadder, Richard III).

Alan Taylor completed his first short film, The Burning Question, while studying at the prestigious NYU Film School. His feature debut, Palookaville, won the prize for Best First Feature at Venice in 1995. Taylor has also directed TV series, including The Sopranos.

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