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Roza Melkumyan 21 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.

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Nixing ‘Dixie’: The Chicks, Politics in Art, and the Power of Language

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. 

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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 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.

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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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Lana Wilson perfects the art of a documentary

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 […]

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