General Film

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Chimes at Midnight

Like Falstaff, Orson Welles burst onto the cinematic scene seemingly fully formed. 1941’s Citizen Kane, frequently thought of as the greatest film ever made, has everything we think of as Wellesian--brilliant audio, dramatic filmmaking, emotional heft underpinned by an element of tongue-in-cheek camp. Welles, who was 26 when the film was made, had been a dramatic force since at least his teens and gives an utterly convincing performance in which is character spans decades. When...

Read More

Talking DMFS with IMPA

A few months back, DMFS co-founder Ben Godar spoke about the organization with representatives of the Iowa Motion Picture Association outside their Golden Globes event at Fleur Cinema.   If you're new to DMFS or would like to hear more on what the organization is all about, this interview covers the basics. Thanks, IMPA....

Read More

2016 DMFS Oscar Pool

Think you know who will win at the 2016 Academy Awards? Compete in the Des Moines Film Society Oscar Pool and you can win fabulous prizes.   What will those fabulous prizes be? Why, free movie tickets of course. The winner will receive two free passes to Fleur Cinema and two free passes to Varsity Theater.   Simply (and clearly) mark your ballot, predicting the winner in each category. The entrant who selects the most correct winners will be...

Read More

Goodnight Mommy: 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.   Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s G​oodnight Mommy i​s a film that came out of, seemingly, nowhere. I went into it cold. Hadn’t heard a thing about it, hadn’t seen a trailer. I knew it existed and, for some reason, that I had to see it....

Read More

Mad Max: Fury Road – 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.   What am I to make of the fact that George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road is the best film of the year? This is virtually the definition of a popcorn movie--a big, loud, spectacle which isn’t so much about something as it is about how...

Read More

Iowa Filmmaker Nicolaas Bertelsen on working with James Franco and Yosemite

When Ames native and former Des Moines-based filmmaker Nicolaas Bertelsen presents Yosemite, a film he produced, Thursday night at Fleur Cinema, it will bring him full circle on a journey that began eight years ago when he left Iowa to further his filmmaking career in Los Angeles. "I didn't just go off to California to chase a dream and go broke," he said. "I mean, I did all those things, but I did this too." Bertelsen -...

Read More

One day left to RSVP for The Great Alone documentary

The Great Alone is a documentary which follows a three-time Iditarod sled-dog racing champion, Lance Mackey, as he battles to complete the race and earn a fourth title. The film is premiering Feb. 9 at theaters across the country, including (potentially) at Southridge 12. However, each screening needs at least 31 reservations in order for the film to screen, and as of right now, the Southridge screening has only 23. If you'd like to see the...

Read More