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Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Palm Springs International Film Festival 2024: Top Picks

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is happening, Jan 4th-15th. Here's our top picks on what to see.

Talking Pictures

A nicer way of putting a Q&A, many big name films like Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, Poor Things and more will have directors and actors in person to answer questions on the films.

"This year, we're hosting TWO FREE panels with a number of shortlisted directors in attendance. Catch both panels back to back on January 8, at the Annenberg Theater to get a unique understanding of these films and their makers.

Each panel will have its own unqiue lineup of guests. The first panel is scheduled to begin at 12pm, followed by the second panel at 2:30pm."

Red Rooms

A fashion model’s mysterious obsession with a serial killer standing trial for murders livestreamed on the dark web sends her down a dangerous and sordid path to obtain the elusive remaining piece of the puzzle. 

The Animal Kingdom

In this surprising, expectation-defying and often humorous drama, a father (Romain Duris) and his teen son (Paul Kircher) contend with a cross-country move and an unexplained epidemic that causes people to mutate into animals. 

In this chaotically entertaining dark comedy, a film director (Song Kang-ho) obsessed with completing his masterpiece decides to reshoot the ending of a long-completed project despite increasing interference from the studio, censors, and his ragtag cast and crew. 

(NSFW language)
It’s the 1920s in Littlehampton, a British seaside town, and the residents are anonymously receiving shocking, creatively expletive-laden letters. Righteous churchgoer Edith (Olivia Colman) is neighbor to free spirit Rose (Jessie Buckley) who is arrested for the crime. As the scandal escalates, the women of the town band together to solve the mystery. 
In this blistering satire of a corporate world that prizes profits over humanity, radical Romanian provocateur Radu Jude takes us on a wild ride as he follows an overworked production assistant tasked with filming the victims of a workplace accident.

Tokyo is the setting of Wim Wenders’ radiant, warm story of a gentle, music-loving man (Cannes Best Actor winner Koji Yakusho) who finds joy in his simple life cleaning public toilets. But a visitor from his past challenges his monastic life. 
This charming, funny and stylish play on the traditional vampire tale tells the story of Sasha, a young vampire who can’t bring herself to kill. Facing starvation, she meets a young depressed man who could help solve both their problems. 

When her husband’s strange sleeping habits escalate from disruptive to disturbing, Soo-jin is forced to take desperate measures to protect herself and her newborn. Director Jason Yu’s startling, genre-hopping debut will keep you guessing till the very end. 
Award-winning Eva Longoria’s feature directorial debut follows the inspiring true story of Richard Montañez (Jesse Garcia) who as a Frito-Lay janitor disrupted the food industry by channeling his Mexican-American heritage to turn Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from a snack into an iconic global pop culture phenomenon.

While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.
*Big buzz from this one...when it was coming out years ago. I guess they're having a special screening? Don't bother with the sequel, the director tried to go "Hollywood" as he put it...and it sucks. It also has nothing to do with a train or anyone from the previous film, it goes by the title Peninsula.

100 Yards

A martial arts master dies and leaves his top student and his only son to duel for who inherits the school. Their action-packed rivalry unleashes waves throughout the city in this delightful blend of old-school kung fu and contemporary cool. 

Concrete Utopia

A massive earthquake rolls through Seoul, upending every apartment complex – except one. With refugees at their doorsteps, the residents of the remaining Imperial Palace apartment decide to wall out the rest of society, and an apocalyptic showdown becomes inevitable. 

Memories of Murder

*From the Director of Parasyte

In a small Korean province in 1986, two detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found murdered by an unknown culprit. 

The Monk and The Gun

In this playful satire, the Bhutanese government holds a mock election to educate the locals about democracy after the king abdicates. Meanwhile, a monk is sent on a mysterious quest and crosses paths with an ensemble of colorful characters.