Bernardo Bertolucci, film director. Бернардо Бертолуччи, кинорежиссер © Sasha Krasnov - Portrait Photographer

It’s only April, but the weather in Rome is so hot that it makes you feel it’s summer. I’m walking along Via della Lungara, so close to my destination. I have a meeting with famous Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci, whose portrait I was commissionned to shoot. Negotiations about the photoshoot dragged on for quite a while, and now I’m finally here. I am getting very nervous and lots of images are racing in my head.

A doorkeeper of the building where Bertolucci lives explains me how to find his apartment. I go in, and they take me to the room where the photoshoot will take place.

I examine it and decide where and how to set the light. I will shoot on film with my old TLR Mamiya C33 with 105mm lens. I always try to shoot black and white photos only on film, which is for many reasons more convenient for me to work with.

When Bernardo finally appears, I have just started loading the camera with film. He notices that.

Wow! Are you shooting on film!? What kind of?
Yes, Ilford FP4 Plus, medium format.
I shot my first film “La commare secca” on Ilford. Now almost no-one uses film, it’s a great pity.

It turned out later that during the photoshoot I’d used just a couple of film rolls, although I initially thought that I’d definitely use more. But it felt like the time stood still during the half an hour I had for the photo session. And now I remember this episode as an amazing and supernatural experience.

// Sasha Krasnov