Cinema '17: Palm Springs International Film Fest

It's a dazzler of a desert party (with oodles of stars in tow).

BIG CINEMA: There are those Decembertime revelers who plan their days around shopping trips, and others who prefer to think about what sorts of sweets and snacks they'll consume, the sorts of edibles that only make an appearance during the yuletide. But as for movie lovers? They're very much plotting their must-see dramas, comedies, and musicals, the better to bone up on all the buzz before awards season fully moves into festive, famous-people gear. The boning-up can be done at your local theater, in part, but one fell-swoop-y way to take in a lot of movie-based goodness, all at once, is to hit one of California's top-notch popcorn parties. It's the...

PALM SPRING INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, and it could not be more out-of-the-gate-ish, calendar-wise: It opens the day after New Year's Day in 2017. And the big Awards Buzz Program was revealed on Dec. 6, a program that will "screen 43 of the 85 official submissions to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Foreign Language Film." So call your film-loving friends and make for the P.S. on...

MONDAY, JAN. 2: Film reveals are still to come, but you can hop on your opening and closing night plans, as well as those handy passes, pronto. Hopping onto a hotel, too, during this popular festival, is important ahead of time, so do that soon. Special happenings, like Book to Screen, fill out the non-watching-a-movie part of the proceedings, so it isn't strictly about film-viewing during the Jan. 2 through 16. As for past years? Big stars regularly show, including Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and Helen Mirren. Who will you see on the red carpet and what new favorite film will you discover? The holiday movie stretch will soon stretch to the desert and one of January's premier film parties.

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