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 a famous Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci, whose portrait I was commissioned to shoot.

Bernardo Bertolucci, film director. Portrait © Sasha Krasnov Photography

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 Bernardo Bertolucci lives explain to 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’ll shoot on film with my old Mamiya C33 TLR camera 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.


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© Sasha Krasnov