Friday, January 13, 2012

The Palms Springs International Film Festival, Palm Springs, California

One reason we wanted to stay in the area for the first part of January was to see some of the films presented at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Now, we’re not what we would call “film festival” people nor “foreign film” people, but we wanted to give it a try.

It’s a log process to get tickets (which you can read about online if you’re interested in going next year), but basically we purchased a package of 6-tickets and save a few bucks (which gave us three films to go to together), then added one more film we liked. The films range from documentaries to serious drama to comedy to gay/lesbian issues to almost anything. We tried to keep to lighthearted films, those we did not think we could later find on DVD, and those which, obviously, interested us. We also decided to just see a few films, since in case we didn’t like the experience, we weren’t committed to many films (thus less time and money wasted).

So here is our experience in a nutshell – really, really enjoyed it! We enjoyed the films, enjoyed chatting with people in line about what they’ve seen/will see, enjoyed the aspect that in three of our four films either the director(s) or actor(s) were there for a question/answer session after, and enjoyed the exposure to something we’ve never considered before. In fact, we talked about if we were in this area next year we’d see more films – perhaps even come just for the festival (or find international film festivals as we travel). We were surprised by the number of films people saw in just one week – many people saw 2, 3, even 4 films a day! We saw one film a day, expect one day we did see two films, which worked out just fine.

So all-in-all, a great experience and one we recommend to anyone in the Palm Springs area next January.

In case you’re interested, we saw:
  • SuperClasico – A Danish comedy about a man who follows his estranged wife to Argentina. We really enjoyed this film and it was quite funny.
  • CafĂ© de Flore – A French Canadian drama about two love stories that intertwine – one set in current-day Montreal and one set in 1960’s France. This film was good.
  • First Position – A US documentary about ballet dancers as they prepare for the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix competition. This was excellent!
  • Happy, Happy – A Norwegian comedy about two neighboring families in northern Norway. This was good, although much of the comedy escaped us.

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