Free Thursdays Feature Films, Art Museum Admission

Ten foreign films, five comedies bring unique programming to Palm Springs



"Young Frankenstein" with Gene Wilder is one of the five comedies to be featured in the Palm Spring Art Museum's free film series this summer.

courtesy of the Palm Springs Art Museum

About 111 Girls follows a government official, his driver and a young guide across Iranian Kurdistan to stop 111 young Kurdish women from committing suicide in protest against conditions that have left them too old to marry.

The only place to see the movie is at the Palm Springs Art Museum's Annenberg Theater, which begins its free summer film schedule June 6 and runs through Sept. 19.

Every Thursday, patrons will be treated to a movie starting with foreign films for the first 10 weeks followed by five classic comedies for the last five weeks.

The free movie coincides with the art museum’s free admission on Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. Add in the Village Fest, and Thursday becomes a full evening of culture and entertainment.

“What we encourage people to do is if they are going to Village Fest, come to the museum first, park in our parking lot, walk around the museum, watch one of the films and then they still have time to experience Village Fest and all of that is free,” said Bob Bogard, director of marketing communications with the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Bogard said the art museum has been showing free screenings in its 433-seat theater for seven years. However, it’s only in the last few years that the foreign films began coming from the Global Film Initiative (GFI) and the comedies from the Palm Springs International Film Society.

GFI, which produces the Global Lens series of foreign films for distribution in the U.S., provides assistance, like funding, for the directors and producers from countries not normally associated with the film industry, according to Bogard. This year's 10 films originate from Iraq, China, Egypt, Mexico, Chile, Iran, Serbia, India, Brazil, and Kazakhstan,.

“They try to avoid the mainstream markets, and work with more unusual and up and coming areas,” Bogard said.

The art museum does it part to set the scene for the country featured in that night’s movie by playing appropriate music and offering the country’s food in the museum’s café.

“Quite often, these films are very gritty, and the characters are on the fringe of society, so you get a feel for what it’s really like to live in that country,” Bogard said.

The Film Society selects the comedies, usually by decade starting with the 1940s through the 1980s. This year's list includes Sullivan's Travels, Harvey, The Apartment, Young Frankenstein and Raising Arizona.

“That seems to really resonate with people,” Bogard said. “And they pick ones that you would normally not see on TV. The nice thing about this is even if people may have seen some of those films, they haven’t seen them on a big screen.”

Audience input is critical to the programming each year, Bogard said. This year they plan to solicit opinions with paper for those who attend a film in person and an electronic survey for its email distribution list.

For more information and a rundown of all 15 films, visit the Palm Springs Art Museum website.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Tour Eight Modern Masterpieces in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage

See the homes designed by the men synonymous with Palm Springs modern architectural history, including E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler and Rick Harrison, William Krisel, and William Cody during the Fall Home Tour on Nov. 1.

Sowing Seeds: TV on the Radio Debuts New Album in the Desert

TV on the Radio dove into the songs from its new album, Seeds - coming out next month - during its crowd-pleasing performance at Pappy & Harriet's.

Cheyenne Jackson Draws from New Album for McCallum Gig

Cheyenne Jackson has come a long way from his Washington state roots, selling out Carnegie Hall, performing at the White House and now his first solo appearance Nov. 1 at McCallum Theatre.

Ghouls’ Night Out

Halloween is always hot in Palm Springs — and we’re not just talking about the temperature. So get your costume ready, pick your venue, and prepare for an unforgettable night.

Coachella Hosts Dia de los Muertos Celebration

The city of Coachella will host a two-day event honoring the dead and the living with art, music and other activities during Dia de los Muertos, Nov. 1-2, at Rancho Las Flores Park.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.