Every major film festival has certain attributes the industry loves to hate, whether it’s the overcrowding at Sundance or the attitude at Cannes. But it’s difficult to find something to gripe about when it comes to the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which begins its 18th annual installment Thursday. The weather is warm. The access to screenings–where one’s seatmate is more likely to be a civilian fan than an industry fanatic–is easy. And the program includes scores of foreign-language Oscar contenders, documentaries and glittery premieres that attract A-list talent. Rebecca Ascher-Walsh reports.