2021 Tag

Clinton Olsasky: My Top 10 Films of 2021

2021 was a mixed bag for the film industry, which is still rewriting its own rules in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.   On the one hand, moviegovers across the country were able to safely return to theaters following the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.   On the other hand, the pandemic has refused to let up in many parts of the country, forcing the industry to offer more at-home viewing options than ever before.    Streaming giants like Netflix...

Read More

Clinton Olsasky: ‘The French Dispatch’ & ‘Spencer’

The Des Moines Double Feature is back! In this semi-weekly series, we at Des Moines Film will spotlight two movies that prompt critical discussion. In some cases, these may be two new releases currently playing in Des Moines-area theaters. Other times, we may choose to compare a new release with a classic film or even spotlight two classics.    This week, we take a look at two new award season contenders from two celebrated filmmakers: “The French...

Read More

‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Reviewed

When it comes to race, Hollywood has a long and uncomfortable history of romanticizing and oversimplifying American history, often transplanting Black experience into the reductive points of view of white characters. From "Gone with the Wind" to "Green Book," ostensibly Black-informed stories have too often been whitewashed, wringing out the authenticity, beauty and pain of Black realities.   Fortunately, "Judas and the Black Messiah" breaks away from this trend. The historical drama, which focuses on the betrayal...

Read More

100 Years Later: ‘The Phantom Carriage’ Is Still the Greatest New Year’s Movie

On New Year’s Day 1921, the world of cinema changed forever.   That was the day that “The Phantom Carriage,” one of the great masterworks of the silent era, was released. Now, exactly 100 years later, the film continues to transfix viewers through its sheer artistry and thought-provoking, life-affirming story.   The movie, directed by pioneering Swedish filmmaker Victor Sjöström, broke new ground on several cinematic fronts. In terms of visual effects, Sjöström made innovative use of double exposure,...

Read More