THE FRENCH APARTMENT
March, Bucharest 2019
[The story itself is timeless… it’s about a French apartment hidden somewhere in the heart of Bucharest and mostly, about the curious encounter between a creative writer, with a French heart, suddenly turned model and an image hunter transformed for a few hours into a portrait photographer. Together they tried to freeze time and to turn it back in an old movies manner. The storyline follows: the model couldn’t resist putting the story on paper herself and the photographer couldn’t resist capturing the frames… so the story begins.]
“She loved old movies, old songs and old houses. The magic they’ve carried, the people they’ve seen, the stories they’ve witnessed — all of it condensed into a simple note, a tone, a colour, a scratch on a rusty wall. It was something about the passing of time that charmed her, I guess. Truth be told, she always felt she came from another time, when people dressed and talked differently, and poetry was still a thing.
So when she stepped for the first time into The French Apartment, she knew she had found her place. It was like time stood still, and the only feeling left was bliss – bliss to have found a long forgotten road back home. There, inside that space, she finally felt she could allow her true self come to light. Suddenly, windows open, the air felt comfortable, and right there and then, between the present and nostalgia, a smile emerged: The French Apartment wasn’t just a space, it was an entire universe. A world. Of her own.
_ But could that ineffable feeling be captured, defying the ruthless passing of time?
_ Only on old film, said the photographer.
The sun was almost setting and he was holding a 1980 Bronica in his hands. The light was perfectly soft and the film was expired. He, too, was a man of old things, I guess. But he liked that about himself. Somehow, behind the camera, he always felt at home — just like when you walk into a space for the first time and you know you belong there. Photography spoke to him in a way very few things in life can. As he approached the window, flashbacks with hundreds of shots came to his mind. All those times he managed to stop the time. Or at least to trick it, with one simple, but powerful gesture, capable of turning a temporary feeling into a timeless memory. In a new attempt of recording the ephemeral, once again he did that gesture.
_ So, what is there left after you press the shutter button? she asked.
_ A story, he said.
There’s something magic about film photography. Just like with old movies, old songs and old houses.”