A documentary by Shelby Hougui
Featuring Julia De Santis
As chicken paprikas simmers on the stove, Julia, a young woman–artist and filmmaker–living in Brooklyn, takes the time to share some of the most profound moments in her life with her best friend.
It’s thesis year of college, both the beginning of the end, and the end of the beginning. Julia is a young woman living in Brooklyn and attending the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Starting her career in photography, she soon found her way into film, and as an artist has begun making work about, not just the experience of women in New York, but her experience.
Four years ago, her and I were stuck in the seemingly never-ending roommate search that had begun on SVA’s Class of 2018 facebook page. We had each been talking to different people, but somehow found each other and reached out about a concert we’d both been at. After a couple words, Julia messaged me and said: “Arrright soooo we should be roomies, because honestly I've been talking to other people about rooming and idk. Conversations have been really forced and awkward with everyone else, but we have Alex Turner's face in common so yeah.”
And that was it.
The moment I knew we were going to be best friends was one night, the summer before college, Julia texted me out of the blue. She said something to the effect of: I’m in a car with a dude that I don’t like and it’s awkward, so I’m going to text you to distract myself. This dude was Chris. Chris was part of the beginning of our friendship, and has been a consistent marker for the passing of time throughout it.
While filming Julia making dinner for us one night, the start of a documentary that I had only minimal direction in, she spontaneously brought him up. I hadn’t heard his name in a while.
Not only is Chris ever present in her life – and thus mine – but upon asking further, he has profoundly altered her life, in a way that she never intended.