395 FILM TIME: While Highway 395 and its towns and up-the-mountains destinations have been seen in a host of movies, movie festivals around the Eastern Sierra were, once upon a time, a rarer thing. But Lone Pine has one -- hello, Western classics and stars -- and Mammoth Mountain has been in on the film-debuting action, too. Beautiful Mammoth Lakes is up next with an end-of-May cineparty dedicated to "raising consciousness of film as an art form by bringing back the human story." The feel? Independent, with both documentaries and fiction-strong features in the mix. The dates? Wednesday, May 27 through Sunday, May 31. Opening the festival on the first night out? "Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine," a remembrance of the icon's life. Other films on the docket include "Diamond Tongues" from Canada and "Birds of Neptune" from the United States.
SUMMERTIME AT THE LAKES: While attending a funky, broad-viewed film festival is a pleasure unto itself, doing so in a beautiful destination tempts one to leave the theater and be one with the water, hills, and sky. And so cinema goers in Mammoth Lakes should carve out a bit of time to slip into a canoe, trot on a pony, or go birding or biking or hiking (or all of the above). The to-do list for warm-weather activities is lengthy and worth perusing before arriving at the film festival.
DEVIL'S POSTPILE: One of the wonders of California -- scratch that, anywhere -- is just a short jaunt away from Mammoth Lakes. A short jaunt and only open for a few months a year, during the spring-into-summer months. The column-like monolithic gem of an outing debuts for the season on May 16.