The bright lights of Vegas are no strangers in the movie world. But usually you think of Vegas as a place movies are made — like Ocean’s 11 (and 12, and 13!), the recent What Happens In Vegas and 21 — rather than where movies are watched.
Think again. Vegas also has its own annual film festival, CineVegas, which I’ve attended for several years now. Helmed by Hollywood legend Dennis Hopper (Creative Advisory Board Chairman) and Sundance veteran Trevor Groth (Artistic Director), this year’s 10th anniversary fest, hosted by the Palms resort’s Brenden Theatres from June 12-21, promises a broad selection of mainstream, independent and even experimental films as well as — in true Vegas fashion — a long list of parties and celebrations.
Must-see screenings include The Rocker (Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate), The Great Buck Howard (John Malkovich, Emily Blunt), Choke (Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston), Catherine Breillat’s The Last Mistress and Abel Ferrara’s strip club comedy Go-Go Tales (Willem Dafoe). World premieres will include Dark Streets (Gabriel Mann, Izabella Miko) and Your Name Here (Bill Pullman, Taryn Manning). The festival will also feature documentaries including Gonzo (Hunter S. Thompson) and the U.S. premiere of Abel Ferrara’s Chelsea on the Rocks; a special selection from Mexican filmmakers including Gael Garcia Bernal’s directorial debut; shorts from Nevada helmers; and unique events like a screening of artist Takashi Murakami’s "Planting The Seeds"on the Wynn resort’s ethereal Lake of Dreams.
On Sunday, June 15, a special preview showing of Get Smart (Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway) at Planet Hollywood will benefit co-star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson’s The Rock Foundation, with DJ hosting. James Caan, Anjelica Huston, Don Cheadle, Rosario Dawson, Viggo Mortsensen, Sam Rockwell, Bill Pullman and Bijou Phillips are among the many other celebs you can expect to see during the week.
And the parties? There’s at least one every single night of the fest, all around the Palms resort, at Planet Hollywood, Blush in the Wynn resort, TAO Beach at The Venetian, Sapphire Gentleman’s Club, The Beatles’ Revolution lounge at Mirage, and even on downtown’s Fremont Street. If you’re coming to town, you might want to take a break from the blackjack tables and check this out.
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E.C. Gladstone is a former editor for AOLVegas, and interviews top
Strip entertainers, restauranteurs, moguls and behind-the-scenes
players for VEGAS Magazine. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when