Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Previews and Features

09 Jan 2015
by  - 
Academy Award nominations will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 15. But who cares about those? You should only care about what I, your trusted Independent film reviewer, thinks. Right? Here’s my list of the Top 10 films of 2014. 1. Birdman: In a year of many incredible directorial feats, the top honor goes to Alejandro González Iñárritu. By making his film about a washed-up actor (Michael Keaton) look like one continuous shot, he pulled off a technical miracle. He didn’t stop with visual wonder, because his film is hilarious and emotionally impactful, and stacked with amazing talent, including Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis. After much debate, inner turmoil and anxiety-ridden sleepless nights, I am deeming this the year’s best film. It wasn’t an easy call; any of the next three films could have taken the title, too. 2. Whiplash: Miles Teller, amazing in The Spectacular Now,…
22 Jun 2014
by  - 
The Palm Springs International ShortFest included a great compilation of lesbian shorts—and I don’t mean flannel boxers! The nine short films in the “Gay!La (Hers): LesbiaNation” program on Thursday, June 19, were well-made and smart—and not one of the lesbian characters was struggling with her sexuality. There was a married mother having an affair with a lesbian. The married woman felt guilty about the affair, but there was no mention of her sexuality. There was an alcoholic mess of a hot lesbian—but no hint that her lesbianism caused her alcoholism. Brava, my kinda films! All of the movies were very intimate, rounded out with humor and light and darkness. There was old love, new love and borrowed love. The only remotely blue content came from The Gay Agenda, a cute three-minute doc from Australia about a hysterical art show that quoted some of the most horrifically inaccurate accusations made by…
20 Jun 2014
by  - 
The Palm Springs International Shortfest accepts submissions from filmmakers around the world—so it’s always special when a local filmmaker joins in the fun. Therefore, it was a lot of fun to see Desert Magazine editor Mary Silverman’s film, Hollywood in the Desert Sky, included as part of the “Extraordinary People” program at the Camelot Theatres on Wednesday, June 18. The festival continues through Monday, June 23. Hollywood in the Desert Sky is a 17-minute short on the life of local photographer Michael Childers. Childers’ work has been featured in the Natural Portrait Gallery, among other museums. He was a contributor to Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and was a photographer on the sets of Terminator, Grease, and Coal Miner’s Daughter. Silverman told the Independent that the interview she did with Childers several months ago offered her an opportunity. “I’ve been making documentaries for my entire career,” Silverman said. “I’m currently the…
09 May 2014
by  - 
No surprise: Summer movie season 2014 offers plenty of films that have lots of things going boom. We’ll also be getting a massive number of sequels and, oddly enough, a large quantity of small films with James Franco in them. (Those Franco films are, for the most part, too small to discuss in the space I have here. But trust me: He's in a lot of flicks.) There are also numerous comedies, and films with smaller price tags. Maybe Hollywood is starting to back off after expensive busts like R.I.P.D. and The Lone Ranger last year. Sure, this season includes some big movies, but there’s quite a bit of cerebral fare on the way, too. Also, this year is definitely frontloaded: Most of the action will be finished with a month left in the summer. I won’t be surprised if some studios shift dates to early September this year. Here’s…