Second Armenian Film Series Premieres in Boston

BOSTON, Mass. (A.W.)—On Fri., May 1, the Second Annual Armenian Film Series premiered at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) to large scale attendance by the greater Boston-area Armenian community. The Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance (ADAA) presented the event.

ADAA president Bianca Bagatourian introduced the film, saying, “It’s so nice to see so many familiar faces… We’re very happy that this film series fulfils the mission statement of the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance so explicitly by helping spread Armenian culture across the world stage.”

Poster of "The Blue Hour"
Poster of "The Blue Hour"

“This is a community effort and it’s really taken 10 years to get to this point,” said Paul Boghosian, a member of the events committee and industrial advisory board. “Independent film is a very unique area. As a director, you never know if you’ll get distribution or if anyone will go see the film. And in our ultra-technological age it can sometimes be easier to make the film than get it distributed.”

The evening began with the screening of “Dinner Time,” a one-minute short by then-14-year old Gor Baghdasaryan from Armenia, the winner of the Unicef Prize and presented by the Tufenkian Foundation and the Manana Center for youth education and culture. A minute-long film can say a thousand words about an Armenian village family’s quality of everyday life and cohesion in an economically distraught environment. And we can all look forward to great films to come as the now-21-year-old Baghdasaryan ages and hones his film craft.

Next followed Eric Nazarian’s feature-length film “The Blue Hour,” the 2008 winner of the Golden Apricot Prize. “The Blue Hour” is Nazarian’s first feature film as a writer-director. Nazarian is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television. Born in Armenia and raised in Los Angeles, he is currently working on a law enforcement saga and an international drama about globalization.

As a film, “The Blue Hour” is hard to quantify because narratively it’s a bit like measuring the amount of fluid in a sieve. Beautifully shot and exquisitely acted, “The Blue Hour” is often compared to 2006’s Best Picture winner “Crash,” but that comparison is skin-deep to both films’ similar cinematography, sense of brooding sadness, and L.A. setting.

In truth, “The Blue Hour” is much more akin in its sense of storytelling and disjointed lives to Alejandro González Inárritu’s 2006 film “Babel.” A shortcoming of “The Blue Hour” is the fact that anyone looking to find fault with the film could easily tell a friend thinking of seeing it that, “Yeah, it’s kind of like a cross between ‘Crash’ and ‘Babel’ but without the race relations stuff but with Linc from the ‘Mod Squad.’”

A brief Q&A and light reception followed the event.

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Andy Turpin

Andy Turpin has been the assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly since 2006. He was raised in Palma City, Fla. His family is of Italian, Welsh and Armenized-Romani stock. He graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., with degrees in history and journalism. Following graduation, he went to Armenia as an English as a Second Language (ESL) U.S. Peace Corp volunteer. He received his CELTA-ESL degree from Cambridge University in 2006.

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