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The Palm Springs International Film Fest (PSIFF) is a very big deal, and not just to Palm Springs. It is, in fact, true to its name, international. Filmmakers and cinephiles come in from all over the world to see the showcased films.

And there are movie stars. So many movie stars. We are lousy with movie stars. (That’s an expression meaning “we have a lot,” we treat them great, not to worry.) You might run into one at a restaurant, because they have to eat, even if it is just a tiny bit. And we have some pretty great restaurants. They’ll be all up and down the valley, just like in the old days. Ah, the old days…

“Picture this: Palm Springs, 1958, Desi driving the latest model Cadillac convertible down Palm Canyon Drive, Lucy in the passenger seat, a pink polka dot scarf keeping her red hair in place, which is good, because the fire department might have thought her head was on fire without it and had to take action. And she had these big white sunnies that made her look like a movie star. Because she was, you know.” — Sophia Petrillo (IYKYK)

PSIFF turns 34 this year, and she’s grown into quite the boss — last year, there were around 1,000 entries from more than 60 countries, with only 130 films making the cut. For 2023, some big names will be receiving awards from the festival. Here’s the rundown:

Colin Farrell, Desert Palm Achievement Award, The Banshees of Inisherin

Sarah Polley, Director of the Year Award, Women Talking

Cate Blanchett, Desert Palm Achievement Award, Tár

Michelle Yeoh, International Star Award, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Steven Spielberg, Vanguard Award, The Fabelmans 

Austin Butler, Breakthrough Performance Award, Elvis

Viola Davis, Chairman’s Award, The Woman King

Bill Nighy, International Star Award, Living

Danielle Deadwyler, Breakthrough Performance Award, Till

Brendan Fraser, Spotlight Award, The Whale

Also, I think I missed a memo — and I don’t even know how one might put this in a memo — but one category is Talking Pictures, which appears to be studio backed films with sound. Is that new? Is that because…why is that? Someone forward me the memo, I need the memo! 

There is a category of Gay/Queer Culture films, which is pretty self-explanatory. And then Fully Subtitled Films which is probably where the “International” part comes in because they’re not in English. Just thinking out loud here, but …you know what, you can figure it out. I gave you the links. You may not even care. But if you got the memo, still forward it, please. 

If you’d like to see a schedule by day go here. If you’re curious about the venues, click here.

Some considerations, from the website: All patrons must provide proof of full vaccination and photo ID in person at our vaccination checkpoints to receive a vaccination wristband. The vaccination wristband must be worn throughout the festival to attend all screenings and events. Those checkpoints can be found here.

If I sound like I’m a little bitter, you got me. It’s one of the biggest international events in Palm Springs and I’ve never been. But you can go! Get your tickets here. Then you can blog all about it and tag us so I can live vicariously through you! Plan?

That’s @PalmSpringsPreferredSmallHotels on Instagram, and me @kaykudukis.  

Be sure to take lots of pictures, and if you see a UFO at night, for heaven’s sake, zoom in and hold the camera steady. Tag me in that one, too.

Don’t forget to shop and stay local, and happy 2023!

I hope you all made it through 2022 as unscathed as possible. No matter the reason, you absolutely deserve a getaway vacation to Palm Springs. The late night temps are in the low 50s, while it’s in the mid-70s by noon and the sun is warm on your skin. Perfect tanning weather, and a heated pool will bring all of the aaahhhs.

Whether you want to keep the party going, or you’re looking to unwind from party season, Palm Springs is a cure. Have a look at our boutique resorts to find your particular jam. There are A LOT to choose from, each one unique in its own way — on the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website, you can use a filter to narrow down the choices. I’d do it for you, but you didn’t tell me what you were looking for, so I’m stumped. It’s pretty easy to navigate, so unless you’re a single cell organism, you’ll do fine.

The biggest thing going on this month is the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and I’m going to tell you about that in a different post, but you should get tickets yesterday if you want to attend. Other than that, we’ve got a lot of the usual suspects, a few one-offs, and a brand new nightclub. I’ll do a post about my favorite restaurants before Valentine’s Day so you can make a plan. But first, January 2023. Ready? Let’s go.

One and done

Jan 1: Vintage Market at the Palm Springs Cultural Center — First hour is $10 to get in (first pick!), $5 after 9 a.m. Vendors from all over the country.

Jan. 4: Leslie Jordan: Gone Too Soon. At Quadz Palm Springs, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Jan 5-16: Palm Springs International Film Festival Cruise the website yourself, or you can read about it here.

Jan 19-22: Palm Springs Winter Break — Line dance party.

Items for sale at the Vintage Market. Photo by Katy Carrier

Recurring tours

Historical Society Walking Tours — 14 different tour options, all spectacular.

Architectural Bike Tours — Your guide, Brennan, is all about mid-century modern. He is also a bus tour guide during Modernism Week. Many of our resorts have bikes available, so snag one for a few hours and book the tour.

Desert Tasty Tours — Get a taste of downtown Palm Springs with this fun walking tour. You get some great history, some adult beverages, and some delicious food from our locally owned spots. It’s a great mid-day adventure. Get $5 off when purchasing your tickets by using promo code “PSPHotel.”

MOGO Silent Disco — Get your boogie on with this dance tour. To be clear, you are the dancer. Curated music is pumped through your headset as you disco down Palm Canyon Boulevard. You won’t look weird — you’ll bring friends and make new ones. Use code “pspsh10” at checkout for a 10 percent discount for our readers!

Dance your way through downtown Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of MOGO Silent Disco Tour

Clubs with entertainment

Caliente Comedy at the Cascade Lounge on Fridays

Jazzville at the Cascade Lounge on Thursdays

The Purple Room — Rat Pack styled club with top notch entertainment from all over the country.

PS Underground — If you’ve read this blog before, you know I love this experience. Everything is spectacular, from the venue to the entertainment and the food. One of the most creative and fun events you will ever witness. Everyone becomes BFFs forever, including your hosts and creative team, Michael and Chef Dave.

Oscar’s — There’s a lot going on here, so peep the calendar. If you’re gay (or wanna hang with your gays), the T Dance is the best recurring party in town. If you’re straight, stay away from the bathrooms.

Oscar’s. Courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

PS Air — One-of-a-kind “speakeasy” masquerading as an airplane; it may even have a cockpit, I’m not sure (I mean, it is Palm Springs). But there is in-flight entertainment, and often a naughty stewardess.

Toucan’s — A drag queen institution and dance club on the north end of town near the very popular Boozehounds.

Come On Up Palm Springs Cultural Center (formerly known as — or concurrently, I’m unclear — the Camelot Theater) is stepping it up. They still show movies, and there are two theater companies during season (which is now), as well as Come On Up, featuring recurring musical acts on different weekdays. There’s a lot of parking, so you can bring a crowd.

Nightclubs

Reforma (brand new) — Right next to BevMo. It just opened, and I mean just, like yesterday.

Pretty Faces (fairly new) — I haven’t checked it out yet. LMK if you go.

Theater

Jan 20-29: Palm Canyon Theater: Palm Springs Getaway

Jan 13-22: Dezart Performs: A Bright New Boise

Jan 17-29: CVRep: Dirty Blonde

Jan 27-29: Desert Ensemble Theater: Kill the Editor

There’s a new theater company in town, The Bent. I’m not sure if they’re doing anything in January yet, but peek their website. There are rumors that their very popular show, The Lincoln Debate, will be back in February. For those of you not in the know, Lincoln shared a single bed with another man for four years. The show uses that information as a jumping off point.

If you’re new to PS and you are a gay man looking for the action, you’re looking for East Arenas Road (fun article), two blocks of gay Shangri-La. Pair that with a men’s clothing optional boutique resort, and you’ve reached nirvana.

Okay, that’s it for January. Hope to see you around town enjoying our delicious weather. And as always, please shop and stay local, have a blast, and I’ll see you next month.