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Jack Lyons' Film Talk for June & July, 2012

06/01/2012 08:01AM ● Published by Steve

Jack Lyons


ByJack Lyons, Sun Runner Film Editor


The world of cinema beckons us who live in the beautiful, but very hot climates like the desert, especially in June and July. One of the busiest places in the desert is the cineplex and the mall, where it’s cool and inviting.

That having been said, one now should prepare for the annual influx of tourists, and visitors (more than 40,000) that accompany the largest short film festival in the world – The Palm Springs International ShortFest and Market.The 2012 ShortFest and Market will feature more than 300 short films in all lengths, formats, and styles, from more than 50 countries.

All the films will be presented at the Camelot Theatres, Palm Springs during a seven-day period beginning Tuesday, June 19 and running through Monday, June 25. Films can be as short as one minute in length up to one hour.

Every genre of film and type will be screened, i.e. live action, animation, stop-action, black and white, and color films. The subject matter ranges far and wide from documentary films to dramas, comedies, and everything else in between. If you like short films then this festival is definitely for you.

There are all types of passes and ticket options available to attendees, however, the Platinum Pass, so popular with regular attendees, goes very, very fast. I strongly suggest you contact the festival box office at 1-800-898-7256, beginning June 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and plead your case.

I’m loathe to say this but most of the films playing the rounds at the commercial theatres and cineplexes around the valley, as well as in LA, and, more to the point, around the country, these days, are really not very good. The main reason for this feeling, which I’ve been harboring for the last several years, is that movies don’t tell quality stories anymore, at least not believable or grounded-in-reality stories.

Think “The Avengers,” or “Avatar,” and a host of other comic book characters that have been made into movies as the basis for a movie, and, well, you get the idea. Money and grosses generally drive the decision concerning what type of movie gets made today, not a quality story. That’s sad and disappointing.

In the 21st century our society has moved into the era of the “TV reality show” mentality and mindset where everybody competes against one another, with one winner at the end. There is no story, just a string of incidents strung together in a film full of eye candy resulting in nothing more than chewing gum for the eyes and ears.

If anyone ever tells you that America is not a violent country, just send him or her down to the local cineplex. Try and find a movie not loaded to the gills with mayhem and everyone packing heat where the collateral damage and the body count keeps on soaring. It’s the same formula for our TV shows and series. Every season more and more cop shows find their way onto the tube.

Hollywood and the indies, have dumbed downed the movie-making process and storytelling, in an effort to reach new audiences. As a result the industry is awash in technology and CGI saturated films stuffed with special effects, explosions, and car crashes to the point of boredom. As the old lady on the TV commercials used to bellow, “Where’s the Beef?”

Okay, okay, I’m off my soap-box.The Desert Classic Film Society of Yucca Valley, headed by film historian and noir film fanatic Chris Perry, provides an oasis of sanity in the current movie wasteland, by screening movies that tell a linear story and entertain you in the process.His screenings take place at the Bijou Theatre located at 57482 Onaga Trail in Yucca Valley. Seating is limited. Admission is $ 5 per person. Call Chris at (760)365-0475.See you at the movies…


Culture Movies Yucca Valley palm springs international film festival Festival short fest camelot theatres jack lyons film talk shortfest short films market desert classic film society chris perry christopher perry bijou theatre

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