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Previews and Features

26 Dec 2016
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In 1973, Jewel Thais-Williams opened a nightclub in Los Angeles called Jewel’s Catch One—and it quickly gained a reputation as the Studio 54 of the West. For 42 years, the people at Jewel’s Catch One challenged racism and homophobia while offering assistance to those stricken by the AIDS epidemic and becoming a haven for African Americans, all while spurring innovation in fashion and music. In 2015, Jewel’s Catch One closed its doors. A documentary about Jewel Thais-Williams and her club, Jewel’s Catch One, will be screened three times as part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. During a recent phone interview with Thais-Williams and filmmaker C. Fitz, Thais-Williams talked about disco and her club’s legacy. “It definitely had an impact on the gay and lesbian population, because at that time in California, specifically in Los Angeles, there were laws against those of the same sex dancing with each other,”…
06 Jun 2016
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I realize that the summer movie season got its actual start more than two months ago with Batman v Superman: Dick Holes. That piece of diseased sloth eye-mush came out on my birthday, of all days, and sent me into a cinematic stupor of the bad kind. Thanks a lot, Warner Bros. Hey, WB, why don’t you just shit in my face on next year’s birthday? That would be far more festive. The good news is I’ve recovered thanks to a little movie called Captain America: Civil War, which is a superhero movie done right. Marvel has proven that it is possible to pit two superhero icons against each other without causing Tourette-type fits in the parking lot, diarrhea and disassociation at the workplace. I hadn’t been that grouchy since Batman and Robin came out. Already Out The Nice Guys (Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe rock); The Angry Birds Movie…
27 Mar 2016
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Michael Showalter is best known as one of the creators and stars of the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer and its prequel, the hilarious 2015 Netflix series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. He’s a veteran of legendary comedy troupes The State and Stella. In 2014, he co-wrote the funny rom-com spoof They Came Together, co-starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler; it was co-written and directed by his fellow State and Stella alumnus, David Wain. In 2005, he made his feature-directing debut with The Baxter, a criminally underrated and charming comedy starring himself, Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Williams and Justin Theroux. Now, 11 years later comes his sophomore feature-directing effort, Hello, My Name Is Doris, starring the one and only Sally Field. Field plays the title character, an oddly dressed cubicle-dweller who falls in love with a much-younger man (Max Greenfield) at the workplace. This results in strange…
26 Feb 2016
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The American Documentary Film Festival will be taking place Wednesday, March 30, through Monday, April 4—and a rock documentary about the Coachella Valley’s underground music scene will be one of this year’s premieres. The festival was the brainchild of Teddy Grouya and was first held in April 2012, with Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone being the opening-night honoree. This year, the event will include more than 160 films at six theaters across the valley—and one of those films is the rock doc by German filmmaker Joerg Steineck, Lo Sound Desert. Steineck set out to tell the story of the origins of the now-international desert-rock scene. He takes viewers to the sun-baked streets and mesas of the Coachella Valley, where desert rock took root, and offers a look into the core of a movement that has continues to gain momentum, both here and abroad. The film is narrated by some of…