courting investors.

by s.m.

Il Deserto Rosso, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni

“Do you have samples of your work?”

She pulled another folder out.  “These are just a couple things I’ve done recently.  My CV lists all of the stuff from before—the magazine covers and global ad campaigns and that kind of thing.  But I’ve been working with a new perspective now, so these shots are examples of what to expect going forward.”

He studied each in turn.  “This is Giulietta,” he said when he’d come to the one where she stood by the frozen canal, Leo at the edge of the frame.

“She was gracious enough to model for me.”

“It’s beautiful.  She’s so—I don’t know, you’ve captured something in her.”

“There’s an old Antonioni film—Il Deserto Rosso—with Monica Vitti, and it’s about the environment, and there’s a still from that that I had in mind, let me see if I can find it—“

“Don’t bother.  I know what you’re talking about.  She’s with her child, walking on the road.”

“Yes, that’s the one.  Something like that.  But instead of the focus being on the environment, I wanted it to be on her internal conflict.  Which is a lot to expect from a picture, particularly when it’s primarily for commercial purposes, but I think it’s important for you to know the thought process I had.”

“You speak very well about your work.”

“Thank you.”  She paused and sipped her wine.  “It’s important to me.”

“But this one—“ he held up her Christmas Day self-portrait, the nude in the mirror.

She blushed.  “I wasn’t going to include that.  I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.  But I think it’s important—that was when I decided to do this whole thing, and that one is representative of my new perspective.”  She squinted at the picture.  “You can’t really see anything, anyway.  And it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.”

“I think you’re exploiting my weaknesses to get me to invest.”

“I would do nothing of the sort.  Give it back to me, you don’t have to see it any more if you don’t want to.”

“That’s not what I said.”  He took off his glasses and cleaned them with a handkerchief.  “But take it anyway, that way it won’t distract me from our serious business conversation.”