My overall feeling of the Venice Film Festival, the one I honestly did not even think of visiting (just because that was in my “impossible” list), is overwhelming. Venice has become an important part of my current trip to Italy. Imagine coming for a trip abroad for a wedding and a film festival! Imagining? I still can’t haha.
After I returned from Marche and Porto Recanati to Venice, I knew I had to be on my way to the Lido again. I changed from my travel clothes from Primark and into a more appropriate summer dress and after a quick lunch headed to San Zaccharia waterbus station again to get the number 20. This time on the first stop to Lido, the passengers of the boat were actually checked by the boat conductors who boarded at San Servolo and I happily showed them my accreditation pass along with the bus ticket and they went on their way. This time I was coming to Lido quite late, it was almost 9pm, and it was definitely getting dark. I got off at Lido Casino, Casino being the main headquarters for the press at the festival and a former casino palace too.
After I got some information printouts for the next day, September 5th, including press-conference times and photocalls, with the screenings and such, I headed to Palabiennale, one of the screening places for the films, located about five minutes walk from Palazzo del Cinema. According to the official program, I needed to collect a ticket to selected screenings, if I wanted to see them with the general public, that is, if I did not have time to watch it with my colleagues from the press, and that was the day when I needed that ticket.
However, upon reaching the ticket office at Palabiennale I realised there was no one inside, however, the ticket window was open. After 30 seconds of knocking on it and politely shouting for people to come, in the most English way possible, I decided to return to the entrance to the cinema, where one minute ago I saw someone who looked like a security guard. It was dark and I shyly walked up to the man, standing on the other side of a short fence. When I walked up closer, I saw it wasn’t a security guard, but a carabiniere, who was speaking zero English. I tried my best explaining my problem, which to him, must have seemed like something non-important, but I think the man saw the fear of missing a film screening in my eyes, and kindly asked me to wait for a moment and stepped away. I nodded, realising that nobody and nothing can help me get inside a cinema for general public without a ticket, for which I was not willing to pay. A new carabiniere appeared and asked me what the problem was and gladly agreed to walk me to the ticket office again and help me find someone too. I happily obliged as I walked after a handsome guy in a uniform, leading me inside the corridors of fences. He knocked on the window and said something loudly in Italian to whoever was inside there. I held my breath, hoping someone would answer.
A cheerful lady appeared in the bright light of the ticket cabin and I started explaining my situation. After telling me off for not reading the guide to the festival, which she said was supposed to be my Bible for eleven days, and suggesting I go watch The Secret Life of Pets: “You know it’s a cartoon, yeah?” I looked at her quite angrily and started my own interrogation. I do not know who won in the end, maybe both of us? But arguing with an Italian lady who doesn’t know that you have trouble finding the right directions all the time, and GoogleMaps being your only friend in foreign cities, was, I must admit, not that easy. I would like to think that we were at least equal in our arguing. This whole time the carabiniere guy was standing next to me, listening to the woman and myself, he even tried helping me more by asking the ticket woman for some more advice for myself. I was forever grateful to him and after finally understanding the system of the Venice Film Festival, which she admitted, was not an easy one, I was on my way to Sala Perla, being accompanied by the Italian police force, in the best possible way.
I made it to the 22:00 showing and at midnight was on the boat back to Central Venice. That evening was really scary for me, walking in the city at night, by myself, was surreal and terrifying, I think it was because I have just watched the strangest movie of all and being alone, all kinds of things were circling in my mind, they actually made me stop several times on my way to where I was staying and write down the thoughts that were overflowing, realising that Venice was one of the best places to create. Sounds a bit pretentious, no?.. Create words, paintings, works of art. For me, that night, it was writing. I will try to share that little something that I wrote under the influence of Venezia at night. One week later and I still haven’t read what I typed on my dying phone that night, but it must be a masterpiece, no? 😉 I will let you judge later.
Tomorrow read a post about my third day at the festival and I guess, the most exciting one, but I, myself, beg to differ.
Thank you for reading x