French themed films – Vive La Magnifique at the Getty Center

French themed films – Vive La Magnifique at the Getty Center



This weekend, experience a taste of the opulence of 18th century Paris by attending Vive La Magnifique at the Getty Center, a film series of historical classics. The lavish films being screened are: Jefferson in Paris, Danton, Dangerous Liaisons, and Ridicule.

Report by Pauline Adamek

Has there been a more sensual period than 18th Century aristocratic Paris? Embrace the opulence with four films that revel in the tapestries, gilt, mirrors, silk, ribbons, and other lush aspects of daily life in that era.

This four-film series complements the exhibition Paris: Life & Luxury, currently on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center until August 7, 2011, giving viewers the delightful opportunity to examine exquisite furnishings in the galleries, and then see stars like Glenn Close, John Malkovich, and Gwyneth Paltrow glide through similar rooms on the screen.  Add a special glass of French wine and a sampling of French cheeses with breads and fruit, available for $25 a guest (order here), and you have a perfectly indulgent experience.

Special thanks to the Los Angeles Film & TV Office, French Embassy for their support of the series, which is curated by Andrea Alsberg.

Saturday, June 25; 3:00 p.m.

Jefferson in Paris (1995, 136 min., 35 mm), directed by James Ivory, produced by Ismail Merchant. Screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. With Nick Nolte, Greta Scacchi, James Earl Jones, Thandie Newton, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

An astonishingly beautiful showcase for gilded location, costume and period detail, this film looks at the less-talked-about exploits of Thomas Jefferson when he served as the United States ambassador to France.

Saturday, June 25; 6:30 p.m.

Danton (1983, 136 min., 35 mm) directed by Andrzej Wajda Screenplay by Jean-Claude Carriere, Andrzej Wajda, Jacek Gasiorowski, Agnieszka Holland, and Boleslaw Michalek. Based on Stanislawa Przybyszewska”™s  play “The Danton Affair.” With Gérard Depardieu, Wojciech Pszoniak, Anne Alvaro, Roland Blanch, and Patrice Chéreau.

This powerful historical drama from filmmaker Andrzej Wajda follows Georges Jacques Danton and Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, allies in the French Revolution.  The film takes place at a time when aristocracy has become anathema, yet its remnants and vestiges””tattered lace, faded tapestries, peeling gilt””drape over the proceedings like judges of the new regime. Danton is co-presented by the Los Angeles Film & TV Office, French Embassy.


Sunday, June 26; Noon

Dangerous Liaisons (1988, 120 min., 35 mm) Directed by Stephen Frears Screenplay by Christopher Hampton, based on his play, adapted from the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Lacos. With Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, and Uma Thurman.

Based on Chordelos de Laclos”™s 1782 epistolatory novel of sexual power games, John Malkovich, Glenn Close, and Michelle Pfeiffer star in this story of pre-Revolutionary French decadence versus innocence.  The film begins with the powdering, nose-hair plucking, waist-cinching, wig-choosing and attiring of our two lead characters as they prepare to manipulate those around them.

Sunday, June 26; 3:00 p.m.

Ridicule (1996, 102 min., 35 mm) Directed by Patrice Leconte Screenplay by Rémi Waterhouse, Michel Fessler, and Eric Vicaut. With Charles Berling, Jean Rochefort, Fanny Ardant, and Judith Godreche.

Nominated for a 1996 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, Ridicule tells the story of a cash-poor nobleman during the reign of Louis XVI.  Like the other three pre-revolutionary French films of this series, Ridicule is a superb costume drama with modern relevance. We can marvel at the lushness of aristocratic appointments in the drawing rooms, knowing that revolution is brewing in the stables.


All films are free, but reservations are required. Call (310) 440-7300 or visit their site to make reservations.

Limit of four seats per reservation.

The films are to be screened at the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles.


J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center

1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.

Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, 2011

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Visiting the Getty Center

The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Monday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Center is always free.  Parking is $15 per car, but free after 5pm on Saturdays and for evening events throughout the week. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call 310-440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is 310-440-7305.  The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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