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7 ways to celebrate French culture on Bastille Day

July 14, 2009 | 11:43 am


For Francophiles, July 14 is akin to a high holy day, an opportunity to openly celebrate your love of all things français. And that means doing more than just reserving a table at your favorite bistro or opening a bottle of wine (though admittedly, that's an important part of it).

Los Angeles has numerous cultural offerings that can help you satiate your Bastille Day cravings. The French Consulate held its big celebration over the weekend, but there are still several opportunities this week to fete France's national holiday at museums, galleries and performing arts venues around town.

Keep reading for a list of events ....

Visual Arts

Getty Center: The new exhibition "Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture From Renaissance to Revolution" covers close to 300 years of bronze art work from France. You can read more about the show in Times critic Christopher Knight's review. (Now through Sept. 27)

Shoshana Wayne Gallery: Nicole Cohen, the artist who brought us the popular "Please Be Seated" video at the Getty, is back with her latest exhibition,  "French Connection," a series of works based on the town of French Azylium in Pennsylvania, which was built to house Marie Antoinette as an exile from France. (Now through Sept. 5)

: French-Portuguese architect Didier Faustino will present his latest large-scale installation that is inspired by the use of chain-link fence in the U.S. (Opens July 18.)

Santa Barbara Museum of Art: "Corot in California" features more than a dozen paintings, plus several prints and drawings, that the 19th century impressionist painter created  in California. (Now through Oct. 11)

Performing Arts

Palihouse Holloway (West Hollywood): Listen to contemporary reinterpretations of Serge Gainsbourg's most famous chansons performed by French musician Charlie Sputnik. (Tonight only.)

The Ahmanson Theatre: "Spamalot" isn't a French musical -- in fact, it is Anglo to the core -- but there's a running gag about Franco-British hostilities that features a character named "the French Taunter." (Now through Sept. 6.)


"Summer Hours": This magnificent film by Olivier Assayas follows the journey of one family's art collection after the matriarch passes away. The filmmakers worked closely with the Musee d'Orsay, where some of the movie was shot.

-- David Ng


Four food events you should know about: Now with more Bastille Day

Photo: "The Death of Dido," by François Lespingola (before 1705). Credit: The J. Paul Getty Trust