A Quintet of Film Festivals

The Palm Springs International Film Festival kicks off the calendar.

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MOVIES IN PARADISE: Save that particular August afternoon when all you want to do is find a dark room and an A/C unit set on extra high, Palm Springs is a live-constantly-outdoors kind of place. If you're not in the pool, you're floating on a pool toy, or you're on a pool lounger, or you're in a bar telling your friends that you'd like to visit the pool later. And thank jollies for all that. But the P.S. is also known for its starry film festivals. That seems a little at odds with its al fresco, sit-under-the-misters rep, but still, it is true; many people venture to the resort city to sit inside a theater. And many people will be doing that some four or five times in 2012, thanks to the city's plump film festival calendar.

FIVE FOR FILM: Yep, it starts off the year, it starts it off fast, and it starts it off famous. We're talking about the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which got rolling on Thursday, Jan. 5. But there are more cinebashes to come. The Festival of Native Film & Culture is scheduled for late winter, a noir to-do in May, a shorts party in June, and Cinema Diverse in the fall. Oh, to relax by a pool for the better part of a week, only to pop in a theater now and then to see something challenging and hilarious and starry. Daydreams.

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