Meicost Ettal is an animation by Samuel Fouracre exploring the psychological tension between the religion, creativity and sexuality of Ludwig II, 19th Century King of Bavaria. The film charts a period of Ludwig’s life where he dreams of building his monarchy in the vein of Louis XIV, through the construction of lavish and beautiful castles. Opening with bold assertiveness, Ludwig’s excitable pre-construction plans are reflected in multi-plane, spliced and re-rendered paintings of castles commissioned by Ludwig at the time. Over the course of the film, Ludwig's propensity for anxious self-reflection results in the castles switching from being the reason and pure essence of his creative being to becoming heavy load-bearing burdens on his mental stability. The film's digital construction breaks down accordingly, and metaphorically, towards its culmination.
The narration of Meicost Ettal, drawn from Ludwig’s personal diaries and notes left to his aides and architects, emphasizes his desire to inhabit a mythical, theatrical world of his own creation and his struggle between his sexuality and religion adds further to this alienation from reality and his eventual downfall.
The score of Meicost Ettal was written by composer Dominic de Grande and Ludwig is played, in voice over, by operatic performer Simon Butteriss.