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Last updateFri, 03 Apr 2020 5pm

Previews and Features

16 Jan 2020
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Love for the Coachella Valley was a running theme during the Local Spotlight series at the Palm Springs International Film Festival—whether it was expressed by filmmakers who live in the area, or by the onscreen showcases of local landmarks and institutions. The three Local Spotlight films come from different perspectives and have different goals—but all of the filmmakers involved clearly have a passion for the community. Co-directors (and married couple) P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes joked about the surprisingly strong turnout for a 7:30 p.m. screening in Palm Springs at the festival debut of their documentary House of Cardin, a tribute to legendary fashion designer Pierre Cardin. Palm Springs residents for the past five years, Ebersole and Hughes developed a love for Cardin’s work thanks to the prevalence of his designs in midcentury modern furniture, setting them on a journey that culminated in the first authorized biography of the…
13 Jan 2020
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As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has kept tinkering with the way the nominees for the Oscar for Best International Feature Film (recently renamed from Best Foreign Language Film) are selected, the initial shortlist of selections has gotten longer. That’s a good thing for the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which has become the destination where film-goers can see the largest number of submissions for the award. This year, the festival programmed 51 of the record 93 submissions, including all 10 movies that ended up on the shortlist. The final five nominees were announced Jan. 13, on the last day of the festival. Several of the shortlisted films were among the festival’s hottest tickets—I got stuck sitting in the front row for two of them—and there’s a general sense of excitement among attendees about seeing these movies before their big awards spotlight. Two of the shortlisted movies,…
08 Jan 2020
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The Best! 1. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood: Quentin Tarantino said a lot of interesting things while promoting this movie, including a threat that he would only be directing one more film after this (and he’s backing away from that being his R-rated Star Trek idea, to the surprise of absolutely no one). So … depending on what he does next, this could be the last “big” movie from QT. If so, I’d say it’s a fitting finish. It’s also the best movie of the year. 2. Uncut Gems: Adam Sandler goes full-throttle nuts in what is easily the best performance within the best film of his career. 3. Midsommar: The horror genre had a banner year thanks in part to Ari Aster, who took terror out of the night and put it in broad daylight for this warped breakup movie. Florence Pugh—who gets my vote for Performer…
18 Dec 2019
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Every January, the desert gets a dose of Hollywood-awards-season glamour with the Palm Springs International Film Festival. This will be its 31st year, and the event is larger than ever, boasting estimated audiences of more than 135,000 and attracting cinephiles from all over the globe. This year, screenings begin on Friday, Jan. 3, and go through Monday, Jan. 13—and the 2020 version of the festival will have a little more of a local flair. The reason: The festival’s first-year artistic director, Liliana Rodriguez, is a Coachella Valley native, and she’s making sure the festival’s local roots remain interwoven into its DNA. “Recently, I’ve been focusing on injecting more of a local feel into the festival with more films in Local Spotlight, as well the new local jury,” she said. The Local Spotlight film program has expanded this year to feature three films: The 11th Green, House of Cardin and Iconicity.…

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