Virtual Cinema, Palm Springs Cultural Center
Enjoy the latest independent films on our Virtual Platform & Support the Palm Springs Cultural Center!
We've selected films that are Palm Springs premieres, along with a mix of favorites from Desert Film Society, Cinema Diverse, Cinema Francais and PSIFF (as well as a sprinkle of retrospective films).
We are currently featuring a great collection of Oscar® Nominated films from all over the world. Check out all of our Academy Award contenders and make your list of favorites!
NEW THIS WEEK!
Based on filmmaker’s, Maria Sødah, own experiences — Hope is the story of Anja and Tomas, longtime romantic partners whose large, blended family is upended when Anja receives a grave medical diagnosis. ANJA (43) lives with TOMAS (59) in a large family of biological children and stepchildren. For a number of years the two adults have grown independent of each other, with creative jobs in parallel worlds. When Anja gets a terminal cancer diagnosis, their modern life breaks down and exposes neglected love. Alone with her grief and her fears, Anja realizes that she needs Tomas’ full help and support. It’s their only chance. How else will their children find the strength once she is gone, if their parents are unable to weather the storm together? Anja and Tomas are thrown into a crash course in mutual trust, and eventually a joint struggle, to deal with this unexpected and premature death. By getting to know each other anew, they unconsciously become the principal characters in a love story where they finally learn to truly love each other after a long life together.
Shortlisted - Norway’s Official Submission -Best International Feature 93rd Academy Awards.
This riveting, Cannes-selected #MeToo drama from debut filmmaker Charlène Favier follows the relationship between a teenage ski prodigy and her predatory instructor, played by frequent Dardenne brothers collaborator Jérémie Renier. In a breakthrough role, Noée Abita plays 15-year-old Lyz, a high school student in the French Alps who has been accepted to an elite ski club known for producing some of the country’s top professional athletes. Taking a chance on his new recruit, ex-champion turned coach Fred decides to mold Lyz into his shining star despite her lack of experience. Under his influence, she will have to endure more than the physical and emotional pressure of the training. Will Lyz’s determination help her escape Fred’s exploitative grip?
THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN
Sam Ali, a young sensitive and impulsive Syrian, left his country for Lebanon to escape the war. To be able to travel to Europe and live with the love of his life, he accepts to have his back tattooed by one of the World’s most sulfurous contemporary artist. Turning his own body into a prestigious piece of art, Sam will however come to realize that his decision might actually mean anything but freedom.
2021 Oscar® Nominated Short Films
Who will win? You decide! This is your chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! Oscar® Nominated Shorts are a perennial hit with audiences around the country and the world. The Academy Awards take place Sunday, April 25th.
This year's ANIMATION nominees include: Burrow: Madeline Sharafia, Michael Capbarat (USA, 6 min.), Genius Loci: Adrien Mérigeau, Amaury Ovise (France, 16 min.), Opera: Erick Oh (USA, 9 min.), If Anything Happens I Love You: Will McCormack, Michael Govier (USA, 12 min.), Yes-People: Gísli Darri Halldórsson, Arnar Gunnarsson (Iceland, 8 min.), plus a selection of additional shorts from the AMPAS shortlist: Kapaemahu, The Snail and the Whale, To Gerard
This year's nominees in the
LIVE ACTION category include: The Present – Farah Nabulsi (Palestine, 25 min.), Feeling Through – Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski (USA, 19 min.), Two Distant Strangers – Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe (USA, 25 min.), White Eye – Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman (Israel, 21 min.), The Letter Room – Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan (USA, 33 min.)
This year's nominees in the DOCUMENTARY category include: COLETTE- USA, 25 min. (2020),
A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION
- USA, 13 min. (2020),
DO NOT SPLIT
- USA/NORWAY, 35 min. (2020), HUNGER WARD
- USA, 40 min. (2020),
A LOVE SONG FOR LATASHA
- USA, 19 min. (2019)
Six Academy Award Nominations, Including Best Picture!
A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
Academy Award Finalist for Best International Film!
Nian finds her life at a standstill when faced by relentless bullying from her peers as she prepares for her college entrance exam. Fate brings her together with small-time criminal Bei, but before they can retreat into a world of their own, both are dragged into the middle of a murder investigation that will change their lives forever. In this dramatic thriller, Derek Kwok-Cheung Tsang paints a bleak picture of an oppressive society, in the guise of a gripping fairy-tale love story, exposing the dark world of bullying and societal pressures of achievement facing today’s youth.
New York Times Critic's Pick! !
The fiery and urgent documentary portrait of the New York painter, photographer, musician, writer who emerged in the 1980s as an internationally known firebrand. A fiercely political, unapologetically queer artist, David Wojnarowicz was especially critical of the mainstream's indifference to AIDS, the epidemic that would take his life at age thirty seven.
NOTE: The film is followed by a Q&A with director Chris McKim, producer Fenton Bailey, and interviewees Gracie Mansion and Carlo McCormick, moderated by Jerry Portwood of Rolling Stone.
"Critic’s Pick! [An] exemplary documentary on the artist… also a mini-chronicle of the East Village art scene of 1970s and ’80s New York." – Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
1994. Frank Paterno (Sergio Castellitto), a Montreal mafia boss, hopes to legitimize his criminal operations by investing $180 million in an ambitious bridge project that would connect Sicily with southern Italy. First, however, he has to recover the necessary funds from his Greek creditor. Frank entrusts this mission to his protégé Vincent (Marc-André Grondin), the son of tailor Henri Gamache (Gilbert Sicotte), who has been dressing the Paternos for three generations. But after Vincent executes a ruthless plan to smuggle millions in drugs out of Venezuela, his reprehensible tactics ignite a war between the two families.
Based on the non-fiction bestseller Mafia Inc: The Long, Bloody Reign of Canada's Sicilian Clan by André Cédilot and André Noël.
TWILIGHT’S KISS (SUK SUK) presents the story of two closeted married men in their twilight years. One day PAK, 70, a taxi driver who refuses to retire, meets HOI, 65, a retired single father, in a park. Despite years of societal and personal pressure, they are proud of the families they have created through hard work and determination. Yet in that brief initial encounter, something is unleashed in them which had been suppressed for so many years. As both men recount and recall their personal histories, they also contemplate a possible future together.
France's Official Submission to the Academy Awards
Two retired women, Nina and Madeleine, have been secretly in love for decades. Everybody, including Madeleine’s family, thinks they are simply neighbors, sharing the top floor of their building. They come and go between their two apartments, enjoying the affection and pleasures of daily life together, until an unforeseen event turns their relationship upside down and leads Madeleine’s daughter to gradually unravel the truth about them.
Please stick around after the film - we’re VERY excited to present an exclusive discussion between writer/director Filippo Meneghetti, star Barbara Sukowa, and international film icon Isabelle Huppert!
GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATION • BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM!
M.C. ESCHER: JOURNEY TO INFINITY is the story of world famous Dutch graphic artist M.C Escher (1898-1972). Equal parts history, psychology, and psychedelia, Robin Lutz’s entertaining, eye-opening portrait gives us the man through his own words and images: diary musings, excerpts from lectures, correspondence and more are voiced by British actor Stephen Fry, while Escher’s woodcuts, lithographs, and other print works appear in both original and playfully altered form. Two of his sons, George (92) and Jan (80), reminisce about their parents while musician Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills & Nash) talks about Escher’s rediscovery in the 1970s. The film looks at Escher’s legacy: one can see tributes to his work in movies, in fiction, on posters, on tattoos, and elsewhere throughout our culture; indeed, few fine artists of the 20th century can lay claim to such popular appeal.
Japan's Official Submission to the Academy Awards
After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their young son Asato settle into a comfortable, albeit routine, life. The family’s orderly existence is shattered by the arrival of Hikari, a young woman claiming to be Asato’s biological mother, demanding his return. As tensions mount, Satoko grows more and more emboldened to defend her family. Weaving together multiple timelines and genres with a contemplative pacing and keen sense of place, hallmarks of Kawase’s work, TRUE MOTHERS is “is a deeply touching celebration of women who assume duties of love, support and compassion” (Awards Watch).
OFFICIAL SELECTION - BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM - 2021 ACADEMY AWARDS - JAPAN
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2020 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2020 SAN SEBASTIAN FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2020 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVALWatch a Q&A with Filmmaker Naomi Kawase and Juliette Binoche
Hungary's Official Submission to the Academy Awards
Márta Vizy (Natasa Stork) is a 39-year-old Hungarian neurosurgeon. After 20 years in the United States, she returns to Budapest for a romantic rendezvous at the Liberty Bridge with János (Viktor Bodó), a fellow doctor she met at a conference in New Jersey. Márta waits in vain, while the love of her life is nowhere to be seen. When she finally tracks him down, the bewildered man claims the two have never met. It’s unclear whether Márta’s wits are clouded by love or if other neurological factors are at play. Determined to solve the enigma, she takes a position at a hospital where she is treated as an outsider and must endure real and perceived slights, while also navigating a no man’s land separating love from madness. Like Madeleine in Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Adèle H. in Truffaut’s The Story of Adèle H., or the women of Kieślowski’s Three Colours trilogy, Márta is a strong yet vulnerable force who anchors herself in her feelings when faced with uncertainty.
Alessandro and Arturo have been a couple for more than fifteen years. Although passion and love have turned into an important affection, their relationship has been in crisis for some time. The sudden arrival in their lives of two children left in custody for a few days by Alessandro's best friend, however, could give an unexpected turn to their tired routine. The solution will be a crazy gesture. But on the other hand, love is a state of pleasant madness.
WORLD PREMIERE SXSW FILM FESTIVAL
Don is hired by a wealthy Mexican-American family, who are not well-liked by the townspeople - something to do with the mysterious water well Don guards at night. As the water level drops from possible theft, the family decide to build a massive wall.
AUDIENCE AWARD • SUNDANCE 2020
Middle-aged Magdalena (Mercedes Hernandez) has lost contact with her son after he took off with a friend from their town of Guanajuato to cross the border into the U.S., hopeful to find work. Desperate to find out what happened to him—and to know whether or not he’s even alive—she embarks on an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous journey to discover the truth. At the same time, a young man named Miguel (David Illescas) has returned to Mexico after being deported from the U.S., and eventually his path converges with Magdalena’s. From this simple but urgent premise, director Fernanda Valadez has crafted a lyrical, suspenseful slow burn, equally constructed of moments of beauty and horror, and which leads to a startling, shattering conclusion. Winner of the Gotham Award for Best International Film and the Audience Award and Best Screenplay prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
With SOME KIND OF HEAVEN, first-time feature director Lance Oppenheim cracks the manicured facade of The Villages, America’s largest retirement community – a massive, self-contained utopia located in Central Florida. Behind the gates of this palm tree-lined fantasyland, SOME KIND OF HEAVEN invests in the dreams and desires of a small group of Villages residents – and one interloper – who are unable to find happiness within the community’s pre-packaged paradise. With strikingly composed cinematography, this candy-colored documentary offers a tender and surreal look at the never-ending quest for finding meaning and love in life’s final act.
Switzerland's Official Submission to the Academy Awards • NYT Critic’s Pick
Lisa, once a brilliant playwright, no longer writes. She lives with her family in Switzerland, but her heart remains in Berlin, beating in time with that of her twin brother Sven, the famous theatre actor. Since Sven has been suffering from an aggressive type of leukaemia, the relationship between them has become even closer. Lisa does not want to accept this blow of fate, she does everything in her power to bring Sven back on stage. For her soulmate she neglects everything else and even risks losing her husband. Her marriage goes awry, but Lisa only has eyes for her brother, who reflects her deepest longings and awakens in her the desire to be creative, to feel alive again.
ACADEMY AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM.
Four friends, all teachers at various stages of middle age, are stuck in a rut. Unable to share their passions either at school or at home, they embark on an audacious experiment from an obscure philosopher: to see if a constant level of alcohol in their blood will help them find greater freedom and happiness. At first they each find a new- found zest, but as the gang pushes their experiment further, issues that have been simmering for years come to a head and the men are faced with a choice: reckon with their behavior or continue on the same course.
Underscored by delicate and affecting camerawork, director Thomas Vinterberg's spry script, co-written with regular collaborator Tobias Lindholm, uses this bold premise to explore the euphoria and pain of an unbridled life. Playing a once brilliant but now world-weary shell of a man, the ever surprising Mads Mikkelsen delivers a fierce and touching performance.
GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATION • BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM!
ACADEMY AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM & BEST DOCUMENTARY
In 2015, a fire at Bucharest’s Colectiv club leaves 27 dead and 180 injured. Soon, more burn victims begin dying in hospitals from wounds that were not life-threatening. Then a doctor blows the whistle to a team of investigative journalists. One revelation leads to another as the journalists start to uncover vast health care fraud. When a new health minister is appointed, he offers unprecedented access to his efforts to reform the corrupt system but also to the obstacles he faces. Following journalists, whistle-blowers, burn victims, and government officials, Collective is an uncompromising look at the impact of investigative journalism at its best.
HAVE A TECHNICAL QUESTION? Every film released in our Virtual Cinema is available through the individual distributor's websites and streaming services. If you are having technical issues, please visit the respective film page and browse the links to the distributor FAQ and contact information.
NOTE: The distributors of these films give a portion of the revenue from V-Tickets back to us, so your film rentals directly help support the Cultural Center. Thank you for watching!