Movie of the Week: ‘The Square’

“The Square” (2017) – Do you enjoy modern art?   Modern art can offer fascinating trips into extraordinary visions, kooky madness, fashionable imagery turned on its head, and much more.  Walk into a modern art museum, and one might find neon orange cubes that turn purple and then back to their original color every 30 seconds or so.  In another room, one could spot repeated portraits of Sophia Loren layered with newspaper and paraded on the walls, and the adjacent corridor may house an oil painting splashed by one thousand hues…

Movie of the Week: ‘Without Limits’

“Without Limits” (1998) – Steve Prefontaine is one of the all-time great American long-distance runners, but in 2021, some may not have heard of the man nicknamed Pre. During the early 1970s, however, he was the University of Oregon’s favorite son, and he probably still is. The UofO has held the annual Prefontaine Classic meet on campus for 46 years running (pardon the pun). Director Robert Towne is no stranger to the sport. He wrote and directed “Personal Best” (1982), a film about a pair of female athletes training for…

Movie of the Week: ‘Dirty Pretty Things’

“Dirty Pretty Things” (2002) – Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Senay (Audrey Tautou) are human beings without a country.  They are immigrants living in London but under a precarious environment. Okwe, from Nigeria, is here illegally, and Senay, from Turkey, works through the system to become a British citizen.  Although, that’s a lengthy process, and at the moment, she can’t rightfully take employment in England yet.  Still, both need to make a living.  They do, although under hidden circumstances, because every person of authority is a possible threat.  Unfortunately, their specific…

Movie of the Week: ‘Collateral’

Tom Cruise turned 59 years young on July 3, and AHFW is celebrating with a fantastic Cruise performance in director Michael Mann’s thriller, “Collateral”. “Collateral” (2004) – Mann’s crime story runs all over the vast, sprawling City of Angeles into the wee hours of the evening, but at its narrative’s core, the film pits two men in a taxing confrontation, who sit just a few feet from one another. A cab driver, Max (Jamie Foxx), picks up a real estate executive, Vincent (Tom Cruise), in front of a towering downtown…

Movie of the Week: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’

“Blue is the Warmest Color” (2013) – Adèle Exarchopoulos gives one of the very best performances of 2013 as a French high school student discovering her sexuality and graduating into womanhood through a passionate love affair with an early 20-something collegiate co-ed with blue hair (Lea Seydoux). Director/co-writer Abdellatif Kechiche winds through Adèle (Exarchopoulos) and Emma’s (Seydoux) relationship for three hours of runtime, and intricately captures subtle – and not so fine – nuances which show love as extraordinary and also traumatic.  Whether Adèle eats pasta at the table or…

Movie of the Week: ‘A Single Man’

“A Single Man” (2009) – Fashion designer Tom Ford steps into the world of cinema and directs and co-writes “A Single Man”, the story of an English professor (Colin Firth) mourning the loss of his partner, Jim (Matthew Goode).  Set in 1962 Los Angeles, Ford, cinematographer Edward Grau, production designer Dan Bishop, and art director Ian Phillips get all the visuals of the period exactly right, as birthday-cake-icing pinks and blues and muted browns regularly pop into the frame.  Meanwhile, George (Firth) is feeling blue and muted.  He can’t shake…

Movie of the Week: ‘The Birdcage’

“The Birdcage” (1996) – Mike Nichols’ remake of “La Cage aux Folles” (1978) is a landmark LGBTQ film in American cinema, although looking back, this hit comedy – which raked in 185 million dollars worldwide – does have a troubling premise.  The mid-90s and 1978 were different times, so the story of a 20-year-old son asking his gay fathers, Armand (Robin Williams) and Albert (Nathan Lane), to act straight for one night to fool his fiancée’s conservative parents – perhaps – seemed like a semi-reasonable request to the American public…

Movie of the Week: ‘Personal Best’

June is Pride Month, so our Movies of the Week will be LGBTQ-themed.  Let’s start the celebration with a look back at the 1980s, writer/director Robert Towne’s “Personal Best”! “Personal Best” (1982) – A few drops of water fall on the bone-dry earth, and once the camera pulls back, it reveals that a track athlete anxiously anticipates the starter’s gun to fire. With long blonde locks and dressed in tight-fitting polyester athletic wear, Chris Cahill (Mariel Hemingway) is about to race in the hurdles at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR…

Movie of the Week: ‘Midnight Run’

With Charles Grodin’s passing on Tues., May 18, AHFW’s Movie of the Week is our film critic’s – Jeff Mitchell’s – all-time favorite comedy, director Martin Brest’s “Midnight Run” (1988) starring Robert De Niro and Grodin. “Midnight Run”(1988) – Jack Walsh (De Niro), a former Chicago Police detective, works as a bounty hunter these days.  He bags some local jobs here and there, but Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano) asks Jack to pick up a mob accountant Jonathan Mardukas (Grodin) in New York City and fly him back to Los Angeles,…

Movie of the Week: ‘Bringing Up Baby’

Katharine Hepburn was born on May 12 in 1907, 114 years ago, so AHFW wants to feature our favorite Hepburn film as our movie of the week! “Bringing Up Baby” (1938) – Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant) is trying to use the peak of his powers, as his life is coming into focus.  He works hard at the Stuyvesant Museum of Natural History and looks for one more bone – an intercostal clavicle – to complete a monstrous brontosaurus skeleton.  Just one more!   The good paleontologist just needs to convince philanthropist…