Currently Browsing: Roza Melkumyan
Anyone familiar with the old controversy surrounding the Chicks knows that when they were labeled as politically outspoken, it wasn’t exactly meant to be a compliment. Even I, with my limited knowledge of the whole affair, felt its negative connotation. Upon watching Barbara Kopple’s documentary on the subject, Shut Up & Sing (2006), I had only a shadow of an idea of what I would be watching. But boy, was I in for an eye-opener.
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.
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 been 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.
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.
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?
As part of our Tribute Series, FF2 Media celebrates the work of female filmmakers. Be sure to click on the film titles for full reviews & see where you can stream on JustWatch.com. With only three films already under her belt, Wilson is already an Emmy-winning and Spirit-award nominated director, writer, and producer. To many […]