Margaret Thatcher once cracked, "Who can trust a people who celebrate, as their national event, a jailbreak?" Yup, it's Bastille Day - a commoration of the incidents of July 14, 1789, when the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, Louis XVI favorite hiding place for the politically outspoken, to show their solidarity with the National Assembly. One year later, the first Bastille Day was celebrated, and the fête nationale has continued every July 14 since.

"Trust" the French or not, Bastille Day is always a fantastic night for rep picks. In New York this evening alone, you can catch Love Me Tonight at Film Forum (starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, and directed by Rouben Mamoulian); The 400 Blows at BAM (not my favorite Truffaut film, but certainly not bad for a first feature ) and Louis Malle's Pretty Baby (starring a 12-year-old Brooke Shields) at Walter Reade. Elsewhere in the world, if you're lucky enough to live in stone-throwing distance from one of its 18 screens, try to check out Jacques Audiard's Toback-inspired The Beat That My Heart Skipped. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to run off to the land of Cotes du Rhone and steak frites...
categories Cinematical