Once upon a Laguna

Once upon a Laguna

Main topic of this week is the Venezia Film Festival (and the upcoming election - but let’s draw a merciful Hermes veil over it).

Am I going to speak about it as well? Guilty *to be read with Kim’s voice, thank you*.

I will not judge outfits and styling choices since I have understood that my inner preference for plain and simple doesn’t match red carpets. 

As the woman of art I should be, I should speak about movies, trying to explain what matters for a film to be memorable and I actually think my different personalities could set up a nice show on that. But the majority of the movies to be judged are not available yet for I couldn’t make it to Laguna. 

So I’m telling you a tale, a tale about an art and a man, who had a desire, a passion which drove him to reunite his friends - and some enemies because otherwise wouldn’t be a nice tale - in a terrace of an enchanted place, the so called Excelsior Hotel in the Venice Lido.

It was the hottest August of 1932 and the group, lead by the president of the Venice Biennale, Count Giuseppe Volpi, the sculptor Antonio Maraini, as secretary general, and Luciano De Feo, the former founder of L'Unione Cinematografica Educativa, spent its time watching movies with the attention of those who have other things to do in life, but such other things can wait. 

At that moment, the focus was on the charming actors, the glittering gowns, and the champagne. And, like any self-respecting marathon, it was necessary to decree a winner or a “favourite one” so what better jury than the audience flocked to the event?

Although the group's agreement was to meet every two years, the glamour and the lust for art caused them to put aside their squabbles to meet annually. Thereafter, year after year, the grew widened, being more structured, and actors and directors from that faraway place called America were invited, and they, in return, brought flamboyant quirks and glittering vices. 

Like any self-respecting tale, the festival went through its dark times: it succumbed to enemy power when the doomed smoke hovered throughout the realm and was suspended when the days were too dark to think about pageantry. 

But nothing could stop the desire of the group's carefully selected descendants to give honour to the movie production, and so it went on, through the time, to the present day. days, the present ones, that make us dream and relive emotions never experienced before. A dream in the centre of a tiny world known as Venice, with a deep and tormented soul but able to enchant, more and more each time, and give its own show.

And still, dear readers, the story is not over, still no “happily ever after” has been written, and a century later we continue to enjoy these sometimes superficial and sometimes naive moments. - Thank goodness!

And not knowing how it will end, I will reveal, however, the first hero who stood out among the ring of stars: I'm speaking about the Soviet director Nikolaj Ekk with a film whose name was already a foretelling itself: "Road to Life”. 

May your road be amazing, today and ever after…