Roy pressed the buttons on the laptop he brought from home, editing previously recorded video material.

Why did he shoot this footage? For what reason did he bring video cameras with him to walk around on the empty beach at Sea Gate, and to go all around New York with her? What did he intend to do with these videos? It would be impossible to present something so trifling at a festival. Even to offer it to a reliable entertainment company was also doubtful. Who needs these masterfully shot and arranged scenes that show a beautiful and very charming—but completely unknown—woman?

Roy put forth the following argument as a sort of self-justification and some form of rationalization at the very least: “I’m on hiatus to pursue creative work. I need some break. As for Carmen, well, flirtation is commonplace in the artistic sphere. But that doesn’t mean you have to cross the line.”

Carmen was wonderfully photogenic. All her slight proportional imperfections, discernable only by the most exacting aesthete—say, her wide hips or the slightly overdrawn outline of her lips—became virtues on the screen.

Smoking a cigarette, standing beside Roy in real life, Carmen appeared an ordinary—even slightly vulgar—woman. But this vulgarity completely vanished when she was on the screen. On the screen, she was not a woman coming out of a strip club, but a lady full of passionate languor, on the brink of tragic collapse.

It’s necessary to give credit not only to the screen and to the technical properties of the camera lenses, which were, by the way, awfully expensive. We should pay tribute, too, to Carmen, the evil sorceress. When she saw Roy’s fingers pressed on the shutter release, the camera lens pointed at her, Carmen transformed instantly. The grim and dirty former life full of deceitfulness, cruelty, and humiliation fell at her feet like a corpse. And a different Carmen came into the lens, clean and bright, as she had been many, many years before, in adolescence and her early youth in Mexico, when she had dreamed of becoming an actress.