The Dale Chihuly app: Blow into your iPhone to create art

Dale Chihuly, the world renowned glass sculpture artist who splits his time between Seattle, Washington and the desert, now has his own app.

“The Chihuly App” – created by the Martin Agency, Inc. – is presented by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where the artist’s Breathe Art Into Life exhibit is on display through Feb. 10.

And that’s kind of how the app works … you create colorful shapes by blowing into the iPhone or iPad, breathing life into your new work of art.

Click here to see a video demonstration of the app.

Chihuly, who created the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala glass sculpture awards, attended the Variety Indie Impact Brunch at The Parker Palm Springs on Sunday.

He also fashioned the orange, vase-shaped Indie Impact award David O. Sullivan received at the Variety brunch.

He’s seen the the app – but he doesn’t have it on his phone – because he doesn’t have an iPhone, he said.

“I’m not very interested in electronic stuff,” the artist said.

Chihuly smiled and pulled a flip phone from his pocket.

“I was impressed by the app,” he added. “It’s really fun.”

Glass sculpture artist Dale Chihuly displays his flip phone at Variety's Indie Impact Brunch at The Parker Palm Springs on Jan. 6, 2013.

 

 

Tales from the red carpet with Richard Gere, Bradley Cooper

I’m a little miffed at La Quinta Councilwoman Linda Evans.

I read her Palm Springs International Film Festival star sightings list Sunday morning with disgust. Naomi Watts, Helen Hunt, Alan Arkin, Tom Hanks and Dale Chihuly.

Who’s Chihuly?

Anyway, her Facebook list goes on and on. I didn’t see near as many stars from my vantage point across the street behind security. But, I was in great company, too.

I got to meet a kindergarten teacher from Desert Sands Unified who made her first red-carpet trip because of the Connecticut massacre. I also met a couple of red carpet pros who stake out a spot hours before the stars arrive with bags of movie posters they hope get signed. And I met a group of fans, now friends, who met on the red carpet last year.

It was a pretty friendly group, until the limos started arriving. That’s when things started to get ugly.

Read my full blog at http://randompapercuts.com/.

Me and my god daughter, Aracely Herrera, on the red carpet. By Wade Byars/Desert Sun

Awards Gala After-party

The Parker Palm Springs is a great place to star watch on the weekends or holiday’s because a vacationing celebrity is bound to stay there.

Saturday was an especially great day to catch a celeb since the after party for the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala was there.

By the time I got to the hotel around 10 p.m. I was told by a slew of photo snapping fans that Sally Field and Alan Arco (she meant Alan Arkin) had already walked by. I understood her mistake – Alan Arkin was in the movie Argo – but I still had to chuckle.

Right away I noticed security was much stricter, they weren’t even letting people out into the hotel courtyard without a ticket. Luckily I had mine.

As soon as you enter the party zone you’re underneath an enclosed temporary structure set up with tall tables and sleek white lounging couches.

Wait staff walk around offering guests fried artichokes, beef wellington and steak kabobs. Of course there’s an open bar with Ketel One Vodka as host.

Inside there’s a table with endless cheeses and vegetables and a desert table with sweet treats too pretty to eat.

There also dance floor inside the ballroom with a DJ spinning the latest hits.

I didn’t see Sally Field or Alan Arkin or Ben Affleck or Bradley Cooper (even though someone told me he was there).

The only actors/entertainers I bumped into were Charo and John Hawkes who had presented Helen Hunt, his co-star in The Sessions, with the Spotlight Award earlier in the night at the awards gala.

I got a brief chance to chat up the Oscar nominated actor who said it was “the story and script” that attracted him to The Sessions. He plays a 38-year-old paralyzed man who wants to lose his virginity and seeks the help of Hunt, a sex therapist.

It was “a role I haven’t seen before very often,” he said.

I also saw several directors including Ang Lee, Tom Hooper and David O. Russell who loosened his tie towards the end of the night and became the star of the party with his fun dance moves and frivolity which included a dance circle in the middle of the ballroom.

He did mention that he liked the local film fest because it was “robust.”

I can’t forget our politicians. Mary Bono Mack (former Congresswoman married to the late Sony Bono who started the film festival 24-years ago) and her husband Connie Mack were there including newly elected Congressman Raul Ruiz who replaced Bono Mack.

The after party typically winds down just after midnight, but for some reason the last stragglers weren’t kicked out until 1 a.m. which was fine by me.

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Palm Springs film festival: Ben Affleck spit on me

Ben Affleck arrives on the red carpet before the Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala on Jan. 5, 2013. (Jay Calderon, The Desert Sun)

I told Academy Award-winning actor Ben Affleck tonight that he was overrated.

And then he spit on me.

Affleck was my ninth celebrity interview in just minutes amid the flurry of red carpet arrivals for the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s annual awards gala.

When I first saw Affleck walk toward me, he looked every bit of his 6 feet, 2 inches tall. In a perfect Hollywood moment, the gray on the ends of his hair seemed to sparkle.

“Hello, Desert Sun,” he said as his publicist steered him my way.

That’s when I dropped my bomb: “I’ve heard great things tonight about your directing, that it’s overrated.”

Oops.

What I really meant was what Tony Mendez — the real-life CIA agent at the heart of “Argo,” who was presenting Affleck and his cast with an award — told me: That Affleck’s skills as a director are underrated, often overshadowed by his acting. Flustered, I touched his arm and told him immediately that wasn’t what I meant.

Affleck looked at me: “No, that would be awesome if you were like, ‘I’m hearing you’re overrated.’”

Fortunately for me — and the 14-year-old me who adored him in “Armageddon” — he had a sense of humor.

Affleck laughed when I asked about directing an actor who he has a close relationship with —  you know, himself.  “I don’t know about easy, but at least I knew he wasn’t going to complain, you know what I mean? He got the part because he was sleeping with the director.”

Ben Affleck arrives on the red carpet before the Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala on Jan. 5, 2013. (Jay Calderon, The Desert Sun)

Then Affleck told me that his father, Timothy, moved to Indio when Ben was 16 years old. He lived there for about 20 years and worked “for many, many years” as a counselor at the ABC Recovery Center.

“I came out to LA when I was about 18, and I used to drive back down and visit him,” said Affleck, now 40. “I used to like to drive by the place where Jimmy Swaggart got arrested with that prostitute. I was like, ‘Dad, where did that happen?’”

It was about this time that Affleck  popped a mint into his mouth, chewing it as he casually continued talking — and the smallest drop of spit came flying out and onto my chin.

My mind muted out his words for a moment as I thought: “Ben Affleck just spit on me. His saliva is on my face.”

I forgave him (really, it was Ben Affleck, who wouldn’t?), as he described the Coachella Valley in a way that reminded me why he won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his screenwriting.

“In truth, I really like the community. I like Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio. I have memories of driving down here in the summers to see my dad and rolling the window down and it feeling like a blow dryer, you know, on your arm,” he said.

“It has this wonderful romance to me of, like, all those pictures you see of old gas station rest stops on the side of the road in the 1950s. There’s a feeling of an older America here that’s past in a lot of places but that I really find romantic.”

Palm Springs film festival: What the celebs say about Palm Springs

Actress Sally Field signed autographs Jan. 5, 2013, before walking the red carpet at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. (Wade Byars, The Desert Sun)

Dozens of Hollywood stars and starlets drove into the Coachella Valley on Jan. 5, 2013,  for the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s annual awards gala.

The stars talked about their Palm Springs visits — what they’ve been doing, if they’ve visited before — during brief interviews with The Desert Sun on the red carpet.

 

Sally Field, who won Career Achievement Award after her role in “Lincoln”

“I grew up in Los Angeles, so Palm Springs was the place we would go — it wasn’t often, every now and then. It was in the ‘50s, so it was literally one street. Palm Springs would always make me smile.  …

“I haven’t been here in a long time, so I thought, ‘What? This can’t be the place! What happened to Main Street?”

 

Martin Sheen, who presented Sally Field with her career achievement award

“This is my first time ever. I’ve never been to Palm Springs. I’ve driven through it, but I’ve never been here before. I always wanted to know where Frank Sinatra lived.”

He said he needed to leave Sunday morning: “But I’ve seen enough to want to come back, I’ll tell you that.”

 

Naomi Watts, who won Desert Palm Achievement Award – Actress  

While she was participating in a film festival session, her kids “had such a beautiful day” in the pool — and at Boomerz in Cathedral City.

 

“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, who won the ensemble award for “Argo”

“I’ll swing by and see my partners at Cinemas Palme d’Or and talk business and make sure that our theater is running smoothly and that our audiences enjoy the selection of films we have. ‘Argo’ is one of ‘em.”

 

Bill Pullman

“Yesterday morning we went out to the experimental station…  The date station out in Thermal and we ate a lot of dates with the guy, Vince, who runs it all.”

On Desert Sun reporter Bruce Fessier’s wife baking him date cookies: “I thought that is Palm Springs at its best.”

 

Director of the Year Robert Zemeckis and his wife, actress Leslie Zemeckis

The couple went to Copley’s on Palm Canyon for dinner Friday and to the Palm Springs Air Museum with their kids. They hoped to ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway before leaving town.

“We just love being around the architecture and just sort of the vibe of the city. We love it,” he said.

 

Ben Affleck, who won the Ensemble Performance Award for “Argo”

“I really like the community. I like Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio. I have memories of driving down here in the summers to see my dad and rolling the window down and it feeling like a blow dryer, you know, on my your arm.

“It has this wonderful romance to me of, like, all those pictures you see of old gas station rest stops on the side of the road in the 1950s. There’s a feeling of an older America here that’s past in a lot of places but that I really find romantic.”

 

Helen Mirren, who won International Star Award for “Hitchcock”

“I’ve been to Palm Springs for weekends now and then, and I had my very first Jacuzzi ever in Palm Springs, so that was an amazing and memorable experience. At this time of year, out under these incredible skies, is wonderful.”

 

 

– Desert Sun reporter Xochitl Pena contributed to this.