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Roza Melkumyan 10 posts
As a member of the FF2 Media team, Roza writes features and reviews and coaches other associates and interns. She joined the team as an intern herself during her third year of study at New York University. There she individualized her major and studied narrative through a cultural lens and in the mediums of literature, theatre, and film. At school, Roza studied abroad in Florence and London, worked as a Resident Assistant, and workshopped a play she wrote and co-directed. Since graduating, she spent six months in Spain teaching English and practicing her Spanish. Most recently, she spent a year in Armenia teaching university English as a Fulbright scholar. Her love of film has only grown over the years, and she is dedicated to providing the space necessary for female filmmakers to prosper.

Currently Browsing: Roza Melkumyan

Puenzo’s XXY highlights the flaws in society’s tendency to classify and categorize

Set on the Uruguayan coast, Lucía Puenzo’s XXY (2007) tells the story of a 15-year-old intersex person, “Alex” (Inés Efron), who has been living as female and suppressing the development of masculine features with medication. At the start of the film, she has stopped taking this medication and begins to explore her sexual identity while trying to cope with the difficulties that come with living outside of the classifications that society assigns us.

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Emphasis on empathy: A love letter to Márta Mészáros’ Adoption

For me, Márta Mészáros’ Adoption (1975) crashed over me in a wave. In this Hungarian black and white film, 43-year-old factory worker “Kata” (Katalin Berek) desperately wants a baby. When her married lover “Jóska” (László Szabó) rejects the idea of having one together, Kata looks into adoption. During this time, she grows close to the orphaned teen “Anna” (Gyöngyvér Vigh), who wants to leave the orphanage and marry her love “Sanyi” (Péter Fried). 

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A window to another culture: Davaa’s The Cave of the Yellow Dog weaves Mongolian culture into story

With a sparse plot, Davaa’s allows the audience to hone in on the details of a nomadic family’s everyday life in the Mongolian steppes. Through their story, we also learn about Mongolian culture, folklore, religion, as well as the way in which the modern world encroaches upon these elements of nomadic life. Furthermore, through a film such as this, we can learn implicitly; Davaa does not merely tell us about the Mongolian lifestyle, but invites us into the family’s actions while weaving their culture into their speech and thinking. 

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Esmer’s 10 to 11 evokes simultaneous feelings of anxiety and calm

Amidst newspaper stacks and overfilled bookshelves, “Mithat” (Mithat Esmer) sits alone in his easychair. He wears a face of wearied determination as if he’s just served an ultimatum, which he has. According to the authorities, he has only a few weeks to clear out of this apartment so that the building can be demolished and rebuilt. As the weight of this news settles in, I hear only the mismatched ticking of dozens of clocks. The sense of urgency they carry insists on being felt, and I oblige.

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‘Hollow City’, ‘El Camino’, and a look at the world through a child’s eyes

At first glance, El Camino and Hollow City might not seem like they have much in common. Yet, after having watched the two, I find that they complement each other remarkably well. Both offer the beginnings of a coming-of-age story in which the audience looks at the world through a child’s point of view. Together, they offer both parallels and juxtapositions of how such a child must grow — as seen through the lenses of death, setting and agency, and friendship.

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Akerman’s Je Tu Il Elle and the power of ambiguity

Regarding plot, there isn’t much to summarize in Chantal Akerman’s Je Tu Il Elle (1974). In the Belgian director’s second feature-length film, the principal character “Julie” (played by Akerman herself) spends a month in voluntary isolation before hitchhiking with a truck driver (Niels Arestrup) and finally visiting her ex-girlfriend (Claire Wauthion). If the camera dedicates a full five minutes to a scene in which Julie and the driver drink their beers and smoke cigarettes in silence, why do I need to keep my eyes on the screen? What will I miss in the seconds that I turn away?

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