Movie of the Week: ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

AHFW looks back to high school, and not our teenage days, but Greg, Earl, and Rachel’s experiences in 2015.  It’s worth the trip, because “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” – and off-beat wonder – is one of the most affecting high school movies in years. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (2015) – A self-doubting teen (Thomas Mann) befriends a fellow student stricken with leukemia (Olivia Cooke), and the particularly well-written script provides an equally hilarious and affecting journey about teenagers coping with untimely circumstances.  Director Alfonso…

Movie of the Week: ‘Searching for Sugar Man’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week isn’t a feature but a documentary, a remarkable one.  We urge you to see “Searching for Sugar Man”! “Searching for Sugar Man” (2012) – Director Malik Bendjelloul’s film about folk singer Sixto Rodriguez won the Best Documentary Oscar in February 2013, and this critic thought “Searching for Sugar Man” was the best film – feature or doc – of 2012.   Who is Sixto Rodriguez?  He made two albums in 1970 and 1971, respectively, but this talented singer-songwriter’s career didn’t take off in the U.S.  It…

Movie of the Week: ‘Audition’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week is “Audition”, director Takashi Miike’s ghoulish modern classic. “Audition” (1999) – The dating world isn’t easy.  Just ask anyone trying meet their soulmate on Match.com.  Hey, it may work out for a few lucky singles, but more often than not, it’s a minefield. Well, back in 1999, dating apps didn’t exist, and Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) – a widower for seven years – cannot seem to meet anyone.  His friend Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura) suggests that he advertise and hold a fake audition for a movie.  Then, he…

Movie of the Week: ‘The Vanishing’

AHFW continues its October journey into horror with “The Vanishing” (1988), a frightening Dutch/French thriller that inspired a 1993 American remake. “The Vanishing” (1988) – A young, attractive Dutch couple, Rex (Gene Bervoets) and Saskia (Johanna ter Steege), are on holiday and traveling to France.  With a pair of bikes on the roof and plenty of snacks in the back seat, this loving unmarried pair seem to have plenty of bright years ahead of them.  Ah, the future is unknown, but most suddenly and unexpectedly, Saskia vanishes into thin air during…

Movie of the Week: ‘It Follows’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week is another one of our favorite horror films, David Robert Mitchell’s sensational and scary “It Follows”. “It Follows” (2015) – Writer/director David Robert Mitchell creates a horror film masterpiece with a story of a mysterious being who singularly follows an ordinary student through the Detroit suburbs.  Mitchell’s movie offers an obscure late 70s/early 80s vibe with the period’s cars, clothes, and living room decors while accompanying the landscape with a synthesizer-filled soundtrack and hand-wringing sequences reminiscent of 1978’s “Halloween”.  With its unsettling creepiness and a…

Movie of the Week: ‘Raw’

It’s October, so it’s Pumpkin Spice Month!  Well, it is, but more importantly, it is the spookiest time of the year.   Since it’s Halloween Month, each AHFW Movie of the Week will be a horror film.  Let’s kick off the fun with an eerie cannibal story set in a Belgian veterinary school…of all places. “Raw” (2016) – Justine’s (Garance Marillier) parents drop her off at veterinary school, and she feels a bit nervous about her new journey.  Her older sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf), already studies there and should be an…

Movie of the Week: ‘Once’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week is a beloved Irish flick that we’ve seen several times!  “Once” (2007), starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, is an 86-minute arthouse musical that you might watch twice in one night. “Once” (2007) –  Writer/director John Carney shoots his no-frills musical in dimly-lit rooms and on bustling Dublin sidewalks, while the audience follows a friendship and possible romance between Guy (Glen Hansard) and Girl (Marketa Irglova).  Guy suffers from a broken heart, and he can be often found crying out his songs on Grafton Street…

Movie of the Week: ‘Wadjda’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week is a thoughtful, groundbreaking drama out of Saudi Arabia about Wadjda (Waad Mohammed), a 12-year-old girl and her singular pursuit! “Wadjda” (2012) – In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive, and apparently, girls are not allowed to ride bikes.  Don’t tell that to Wadjda (Waad Mohammed).  This 12-year-old girl is happy to question – like a preteen-Gloria Steinem – societal laws and rules assigned to women and is determined to own and ride a bike. Writer/director Haifaa Al-Mansour must be determined as well,…

Movie of the Week: ‘The Great Buck Howard’

John Malkovich is one of AHFW’s favorite actors, even though his characters wouldn’t be our BFFs.  For example, John has played a criminal mastermind (“Con Air” (1997)), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (“Mary Reilly” (1996)), an assassin (“In the Line of Fire” (1993)), and many other on-screen oddities. In 2008’s “The Great Buck Howard”, however, he plays a decent fellow, a magician of sorts, but he’s not without his quirks.  A lot of them. AHFW’s Movie of the Week is the fun family comedy “The Great Buck Howard”, and we…

Movie of the Week: ‘The Past’

AHFW is an Asghar Farhadi fan, and two of the Iranian director’s movies won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, “A Separation” (2011) and “The Salesman” (2016).  Critics often shine praise over the two aforementioned pictures (and deservedly so), but his 2013 film “The Past” doesn’t really receive much play.  It should, although the Hollywood Foreign Press nominated it for a Golden Globe, so we give them a big hand for their past recognition. “The Past” (2013) – A beautiful woman looks through a large bay window at Paris’ Charles…