Yervand Kochar

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Independent Filmmaker Seeks Your Help to 'Heal America'

One of the most appealing aspects of the new media is the immediate and passionate involvement of the reader, a dynamic in which the audience is as active and important as the originator of information. Since I started writing for

How to Stop Worrying About 'Ants on the Crucifix' and Ignore Second Rate Art

In his article on Robert Mapplethorpe’s X Portfolio and the controversy that ensued because of its pornographic imagery, art critic Dave Hickey noted that the efficacy of Mapplethorpe’s art was in enfranchising “…ultimately, that senator from North Carolina [Senator Jesse

Some Non-Synchronistic European Directors

A sudden revival of appreciating my European filmmaking roots was curiously prompted when the game between the Saints and the Cardinals abruptly intensified in the second half. The Pig and Whistle restaurant on Hollywood Blvd.–where I was watching the game

How The Book of Eli Got Into the Wrong Hands

The storyline of the movie The Book of Eli is a cross between I Am Legend, Fahrenheit 451, and a B-movie western. In post-apocalyptic American wasteland, a strange wanderer named Eli (Denzel Washington)–who is a cross between St Francis of

Green = Red: Life As a Real 'No Impact Man'

When the second plane flew into the World Trade Center, our family friend, Albert, who was watching the attack on TV in Armenia, had a major heart attack. His sister was working in the second tower. Three hours later, she

40's Movie Stars: Better in Bed, Better on the Battlefield

I have been watching a lot of 40s movies lately. Being radically anti-celebrity, I was taken aback by how easily mesmerized I was by the movie stars of that period. After all, why wouldn’t any man (straight or gay) imitate

When the Universe Replaces God

I caught a live tribute to Ted Kennedy on TV the other day. Family, friends, and colleagues were praising him as a champion for universal social justice. I started thinking about how much I’ve been hearing the word “universal” lately.

Sickness of our Age: Leftist = Historic

If someone like Beethoven had a vision of the future and realized the impact his music had on humanity, would he be able to compose with the same fortitude and confidence, or rather, would the pressure of the realization of

The American Gorbachev?

Remember Gorbachev, that bold round-headed Russian tractor loving peasant-Secretary whom the West loved so much? The West loved him perhaps because he was the first one in the short but depressing succession of the Soviet leaders who did not really

The Death of Independent Film

There’s a dark cloud hovering over independent film these days and fears that as a production mode and as an artistic expression, the independent film is dying. One of the reasons is that after seeing the potential of these films,

The War for the Castle of our Imagination

One of the most unfortunate events that deterred a healthy development of a motion picture industry is that its childhood tragically coincided with the childhood of Communism. The Soviet era of Communism was the first totalitarian regime that recognized the

There Is One Lincoln

The mystery of Abraham Lincoln was in his ability to unite opposing fractions of society while maintaining a divisive position. This ability to transcend opposites made him a subject of claim from diametrically opposed entities and worldviews. Lincoln became an

Where's The Film About Our Real Superheroes?

The flood of superhero movies in the past several years has become increasingly worse. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men and, oops, Catwoman, and then what? Underdog … these bustards are everywhere and they keep coming. Even bums are superheroes

Cannes' Voyage to the Neverland of Irrelevancy

During the 1963 Moscow International Film Festival, few doubted Federico Fellini’s “8 ” was a masterpiece. The film was not merely contending for the Grand Prize; it was clear that no conventional prize could put a tag on the sheer