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Rip Hopkins went to meet shopkeepers and merchants who own a commercial lease.

He considers them as superheroes leading a double life: a public one in which they have a mission within society; and on the other hand a private, personal and family life.
Everyone is portrayed in public places, then at home. A double portrait, which could show both sides of their relatively normal personality if people hadn’t been already portrayed as cinema heroes.

Who has never dreamed to have a film for a life, acting for invisible cameras? Rip Hopkins asked them to play the game. Every portrait of this series is linked to a cult film.
The result is surprising. Reality meets fiction. Ordinary lives become extraordinary by this game of imagination.

Rip Hopkins said: “They have a superhuman strength (counter storage, 7 days’ week), an unfailing imagination (they control their own universe), an extraordinary speed (competition withother shopkeepers) and a resistance to pain (sales)”.

In the street, in restaurants, on public squares, in shops, then in their bath, their basement or with their family, the subjects evoke by their presence and with one word their passion for cinema.

“The quest for absolute love that doesn't exist” says Stéphane, head of a prêt-à-porter store (his film: Four weddings & a funeral). “It could be me in another life”, says Philippe an optician (his film: Reservoir Dogs).

Is it the photographer’s way of framing the scene? The portraits seem to have been shot on a movie set. These French people are really “cine-genic”.
Though one can feel at times something close to schizophrenia. Personalities split raging in every directions: between normality and fantasy, between work and intimacy.

“Sometimes I feel like I have left for a week”, confides Evelyne to the photographer. In her car, she gives wholeheartedly the expression of her choice of film “The Bridges of Madison County”. Between the place she left and the place she is driving to, everything is possible. In real life, she just takes her car to go to work. Everyday, she does the journey to Nantes.

Text by Pauline de La Boulaye - her film : How to Steal a Million

This series has been made for Le Voyage à Nantes festival

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