from A for love to Z for mosquitoes

Venice 80. Eleven days of the film festival were summed up in the vocabulary of films, lack of stars, glamour, protests, awards. We are waiting for Rome’s decision on the Biennale.

And for love
Heartbreaking Priscilla Presley, who still cries in the press room thinking about her Elvis, even though she left him. The same one in Maestro, between Felicia and Leonard Bernstein, although he was bisexual. The one in the Ferrari, with the son of the legendary Drake Pierrot, who is recognized years later and on the red carpet, admits: “What if I get emotional? I say no, but it’s true.” But also the devotion of love with which Amal Clooney turns to her George: “You, like Venice, take my breath away.”

B for tickets sold
In anticipation of the final balance, data for the first week of the festival recorded an increase in cinema attendance. Fears that the lack of stars would scare moviegoers away from the Lido have been allayed. Against.

C for climate
Two days of waiting, Monday of accreditation and Tuesday before the opening, then the exhibition was blessed by the weather: dry, sunny weather, without heat. But it is very cold in the rooms. During the return of Covid, colds and sore throats, pharmacies were very popular in the last days of the festival. And we ran out of tampons.

D is for divi
Hollywood stars are absent from the Lido due to a strike called by the powerful writers’ and actors’ union, which is calling for wage adjustments and action to protect artificial intelligence. Absent were Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper (who, however, arrived at the Lido a few days before the festival to check whether his film was going well), Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, and the Italians reigned supreme on the red carpet. And influencers. They didn’t even watch movies.

And like Aeneas
film by Pietro Castellitto, who wanted his father Sergio and brother Cesare to be present on the set. One of six Italian films in competition, it also stood out for its blasphemy, which could easily have been dispensed with.

F is for feminicide
On average, one woman is killed every three days today. To say no to violence against women, a bicameral parliamentary commission chaired by Martina Semenzato walked the red carpet wearing a white T-shirt and red trousers.

G for toilets
Those from the Casino Palace, old, smelly, intermittently functioning, have been cleaned, among other things, with amazing care. Needs a deep renovation.

H is for hotel
On Lido this year, prices for rooms have increased, as have prices for temporary rental apartments. However, the prices of food sold at the Cittadella del Cinema remained unchanged, but only because they were still in accordance with the old contract. A new four-year competition will be held next year, and the biennale assures that prices will always have to be controlled. Let’s see.

I’m for investment
Having forgotten for many years about the “Hole”, that is, the crater of the foundation of the never-built new Palazzo del Cino, the Biennale and the municipality of Venice continue to reconstruct, equip and adapt existing buildings. This year the Pearl Hall was completely redone. Events are planned for next year in Sala Grande and Sala Perla.

L – Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement
this year the award goes to the ninety-year-old Liliana Cavani, who from the stage of the Sala Grande scolds the Biennale: “I am the first woman to receive such recognition, I don’t think it’s right.” Thus, it seemed that in 80 years of Mostra, not a single woman had been awarded, as some foreign newspapers hastily wrote. What Cavani actually meant was that she was the first Italian female director to receive such recognition. They could have corrected it on stage, but no one corrected it out of politeness.

M – for harassment
Giorgio Armani dedicates a spectacular fashion show to Venice, actors, directors, stylists, old models, godmother Sophia Loren come to the Arsenale. But at the party, a mischievous hand caresses the ass of the local police chief, Marco Agostini. Who leaves after the fifth touch only to later write about it on social networks: “At almost 63 years old, I realized how a woman feels when she is pestered.” After the scandal, merciless memes followed: “Money di Joe”, “Commander pursued.”

N is for nude
almost absent. No panties, no “scandals” on the red carpet. Lots of color, especially pink in the year of Barbie. Regular gambling in Lido is about patterns, but also about beautiful clothes. First of all, the metallic brass of Jessica Chastain, the only diva on the Lido, a goddess on earth, who cries as the audience in the Great Hall applauds her. Guillaume Canet has the most beautiful tuxedo. The next day, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini also showed up in a tuxedo, but with red and black Milan socks. I hope he has some spare.

Or like bears
And wolves and animals in general. The godmother Caterina Murino is their protector and from the Lido she addresses the President of Trento, Massimo Fugatti: “Killing them is wrong, he must protect them, as Abruzzo does.” Agent 007 is at their service.

P – protests
A group of topless women shout “rapist” and criticize Woody Allen on the red carpet at the presentation of his 50th film, Chance. He doesn’t notice this, he only hears applause and signs autographs, but exhibition director Alberto Barbera gets annoyed: “Allen was picked on for 25 years, this is persecution, he was completely rehabilitated.” Despite the Biennale’s decision to include two other directors who discussed sexual violence, Luc Besson and Roman Polanski, they wrote on the walls of the Lido.

Q is a Qr code
Matrix code for downloading not only bar and restaurant menus, but also film material. Twenty years ago, the lobby of the Casino Palace was entirely occupied by filing cabinets, with stacks and stacks of papers for every accredited person. The Biennale now even measures carbon dioxide levels to curb pollution.

R stands for Give Us Our Money Back.
that is, the Gianni Ippoliti Wall, where festival participants watch films, but above all, let off steam. Because of too high prices, because of overloaded vaporettos, because of the difficulty of booking theater tickets.

S for mining system
In his fourth of four years in office, Biennale President Roberto Cicutto is unlikely to be re-confirmed by the new Georgia Meloni government, Culture Minister Giuliano Sangennaro plans to replace him with journalist and writer Pietrangelo Buttafuoco, a former director of the Youth Front and MSI who converted to Islam several years ago. The 2024 film festival will still be directed by Alberto Barbera, then his tenure will expire. We’ll see. It’s politics, baby.

T for makeup
Five hours, from 2 to 7 am, to transform Bradley Cooper into conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. This is called prosthetic makeup, and it is created using prosthetics, impressions, molds, and now 3D. But in the world of cinema there is a shortage of make-up artists, as well as legal and administrative experts: “We need hybrid professionals,” it was said at a conference in Veneto Region Space.

U – for Ukraine
Last year’s video message from Zelensky and applause: “Don’t be silent, don’t leave us alone.” Ukraine Day this year, two hours of discussion about the situation in the Ukrainian film industry.

V stands for VivaTicket
This year the mandatory reservation for entry to the hall was confirmed again, and there were the usual difficulties on the platform with endless waits for a seat. Embarrassing.

Z – mosquitoes
Summer is ending, there are no more mosquitoes on the Lido.

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on Il Gazettino

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