Author:Kevin Kretschmer

World War I: Great Films About The Great War

April 2017 marked the one-hundredth anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I (or The First World War). In much of Europe it was originally referred to as The Great War, a tag that was also common in America. Here in The States, as early as 1918, it was frequently referred to as The World War. And there were more names: “The War to End War,” as well as the “War to Make...

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There’s More to Kurosawa Than Samurai Films

Recently, thanks to Turner Classic Movies (and my DVR), along with an assist from the Des Moines Public Library, I was able to view several films by Akira Kurosawa for the first time. Not only is Kurosawa in the group of Japanese directors known as The Big Three (along with Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujirô Ozu) he is, without question, in the international pantheon of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Known primarily for his talent...

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The Olympic Games Documented on Film: 1938-1986

There are few, if any, events on the worldwide stage that can match the excitement, scope and grandeur of the Olympics. My earliest Olympic memories are from 1968, when the Winter Games were held in Grenoble and the Summer Games were in Mexico City. Both festivals (held in the era when both games were contested in the same year) were broadcast by the ABC Television Network. They were the first Olympics to be televised in...

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The Big Short: DMFS Best of 2015

Des Moines Film Society asked some of our favorite local writers and film fanatics to pick their favorite film of 2015. You can read them all at DMFS: Best of 2015.   A few years ago, after seeing Charles Ferguson’s Oscar-winning feature documentary Inside Job, I couldn’t stop recommending it to people as a lucid, compelling explanation of the 2008 financial crisis. As a documentary, however, it proved a hard sell; not everyone is willing to watch...

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