It’s about that time Coachella Valley…. this weekend is THE LAST WEEKENDof the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Roll out the red carpet, turn the spotlights on, rev up the film reels and brace yourself to stand in line for an hour or so.  This is one of the most hyped up, worldly, celebrity studded, indie events in the Coachella Valley.  Sounding like a contradiction of sorts?  Well, it kinda is… but we can’t help but love it.  In fact, no matter how long the lines are, how much the paparazzi freak me out, or how many tourists are in town you better believe I will be there in the mix of things.  I haven’t missed one of these for the past 8 years and I don’t plan on missing out on what special treats this year has to offer this year either.

Aside from the weekly, summer-time Global Lens free film screenings provided by the Palm Springs Art Museum, this is the desert’s rare opportunity to catch some pretty amazing, top-of-the-line, interesting, culturally significant films right in our own back yard.

Warning: There is no time to slack off.  This festival comes with a big bang!!  All wrapped up and compressed into into a one week and a half time-span filled to the brim with non-stop, overlapping film screenings.  And more often then not, two films you want to see are going to overlap one another.  AAaaaaahhhhhhh!!!  What’s a film nerd to do??

Alas, no sense in me hyping up something that doesn’t need a hype man.  It’s reputation and following truly speaks for itself.

And just in case you are one of the rare few out there who have yet to attend a Palm Springs International Film Society event I have gathered up some vital info for you.  This info would be website links, ticket price, locations, and suggested films!  Please do your research as to what films you really wanna watch though, because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Enjoy!  And I hope to run into you there!


“Palm Springs International Film Festival is a film festival held in Palm Springs, California. It was started in 1989 and is held annually in January. It is run by the Palm Springs International Film Society, who also run the Palm Springs International ShortFest, a festival of short films and film market in June.” – from my super trusty, wikipedia

This is the 22nd year that the Palm Springs International Film Festival has been in rotation.  This year, the festival runs from Wednesday, January 5th to Monday, January 17th.  The screenings take place at different theaters all throughout the city of Palm Springs.  All films have been hand selected by a team and vary in subject matter, location, Please scroll further down to see times and venues.

The Official Website is

Films We Suggest for this Weekend


Road to Nowhere
USA, 2010, 121 Minute Running Time
US Premiere
Topics: Art/Architecture/FilmCrimeCult
Programs: Monte Hellman RetrospectiveSpecial Presentations
Language: English

Cult director extraordinaire Monte Hellman (Two-Lane Blacktop) returns to the big screen after more than two decades with this noir-ish mystery about arrogant young filmmaker Mitch who sets out to make a fictional film about a real-life criminal couple and then becomes obsessed with the actress Laurel he casts to play the wife. Reality and art become entangled as each holds a cracked mirror up to the other, as Mitch’s fixation threatens both the film and the “real lives” of those making it…

Hellman is in complete control here, guiding the audience through a labyrinthine plot with an economical style and a flair for the absurd (veteran actor Cliff de Young plays both the “real” criminal husband and the actor portraying him in the film-within-the-film). As one critic put it perfectly, Hellman and writer Steven Gaydos have created a new subgenre: “arthouse pulp.” (A bonus for lovers of roots country music: the songs of Tom Russell feature prominently on the soundtrack).

Director, Producers & Actor to attend screenings

DIRECTOR: Monte Hellman
Producer: Melissa Hellman, Steven Gaydos, Monte Hellman
Editor: Celine Ameslon
Screenwriter: Steven Gaydos
Cinematographer: Joseph M. Civit
Music: Tom Russell
Principal Cast: Shannyn Sossamon, Dominique Swain, Tygh Runyan, Cliff de Young, Waylon Payne, John Diehl, Fabio Testi
Filmography: Iguana (1988), China 9, Liberty 37 (1978), Cockfighter (1974), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), The Shooting (1967), Ride in the Whirlwind (1965)
Print Source: E1 Entertainment –


Monte Hellman Retrospective, Special Presentations
Saturday, January 15, 7:00 PM
Annenberg Auditorium
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Monte Hellman Retrospective, Special Presentations
Sunday, January 16, 12:00 PM
Annenberg Auditorium
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How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?
United Kingdom, 2010, 78 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Spain
Topics: Art/Architecture/FilmBiopicDocumentary
Program: True Stories
Language: English

This terrific-looking globe-trotting documentary traces the career of prolific English architect Norman Foster from his humble origins to the top of his profession, visits some of his most iconic structures, and explores how the “Mozart of Modernism” has been influenced by the world of art and how he incorporates art into his designs. Alternating soaring, sensuous aerial and interior cinematography of landmark projects (including the Hearst Tower in NYC, the Faber and Dumas offices in Ipswich, England, the Millau Viaduct in Gorges du Tarn, France, the HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong, the reconstruction of the Reichstag in Berlin, the Great Court of London’s British Museum and Terminal 3 of the Beijing airport, the largest building on the planet), expert talking heads commentary, and interviews with the man himself, the film outlines the major turning points in Foster’s life.

Although he has won more than 500 awards and citations for excellence (including a knighthood and life peerage in his native land), the now 75-year-old Foster comes across as both generous and modest. His private life is barely touched on, but his passion for drawing, flying and athletics is made viscerally clear.

DIRECTOR: Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado
Producer: Elena Ochoa
Editor: Paco Cozar
Screenwriter: Deyan Sudjic
Cinematographer: Valentín Álvarez
Music: Joan Valent
Principal Cast: With: Norman Foster, Tony Hunt, George Weidenfeld, Richard Rogers, Bono, Deyan Sudjic
Filmography: Norberto López Amado: They’re Watching Us (2002)
Carlos Carcas: Old Man Bebo (2008)
Print Source: Latido Films –


True Stories
Sunday, January 16, 1:00 PM
Camelot Theatres
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The Arbor
United Kingdom, 2010, 90 Minute Running Time
Topics: Art/Architecture/FilmBiopicDocumentary,Woman DirectorWomen
Program: True Stories
Language: English

Debut director Clio Barnard’s stunningly original picture demonstrates just how far the genre of documentary filmmaking can be pushed. The main figure in the movie is the young and talented playwright Andrea Dunbar who made a name for herself in 1980 with a very raw and semi-autobiographical play entitled Rita, Sue and Bob Too. The plot of the play is set in the poor suburbs of the English town of Bradford, a hotbed of domestic squabbles, eternally drunk and vulgar fathers, frustrated mothers, and children in trouble with the law.

Andrea Dunbar had a similarly hard life, dying at age 29 and leaving behind three young children by three different fathers. Over a two-year period, the director made recordings of conversations she had with members and acquaintances of the Dunbar family. Then she reconstructed the playwright´s life with the help of actors who lip-synch the recordings. This remarkable film, permeated by an uneasy atmosphere, makes use of local television footage from the early 1980s showing the actual members of the Dunbar family. Winner, Best Documentary, Tribeca Film Festival.

DIRECTOR: Clio Barnard
Producer: Tracey O’Riordan
Editor: Nick Fenton, Daniel Goddard
Cinematographer: Ole Birkeland
Music: Harry Escott, Molly Nyman
Principal Cast: Manjinder Virk, Christine Bottomley, Monica Dolan, Jimi Mistry, Neil Dudgeon
Filmography: Debut Feature
Print Source: Strand Releasing –


Saturday, January 15, 1:00 PM
Palm Canyon Theatre
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Ticket Prices

Regular Individual Screening Tickets
General Admission $11
Matinee (screenings starting before 3:00 p.m.) $10

Talking Pictures Programs/Panel Discussions
General Admission $15

Six Pack $54
Good for six regular priced screenings (does not include Galas). Six Pack tickets can be selected online or in person at a Festival Box Office. Please note that this value pack is only available for purchase through January 6, 2011.

Closing Night Screening & Wrap Party
Sunday, January 16, 2011: $50
Closing Film Screening 5:00 pm at the Palm Springs High School Auditorium. Wrap Party immediately following screening.

Gala Film Screenings
Special presentation film screenings with special guests
General Admission: $12
Screening & Reception: $25

*more info on

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