3.30.12: Venezia Venerdi

A few fantastic things about Venice:

1. Cicchetti. Tasty little snacks served at local bars with a glass of wine… perfect for canal-side picnics. My favorites: hard boiled egg with truffles, spicy salami, lardo with salmon, and creamy baccalà.

2. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Paolo’s former workplace (he was a docent here in 1998) showcases an incredible assortment of modern art in a white palazzo but my favorite part is the garden where Peggy and her pups are buried…

3. Graduation Rituals. Fantastic more in the sense “odd, bizarre, grotesque,” the latest crop of laureati parade through the streets clothed in outlandish and/or humiliating costumes doused in eggs, flour and alcohol while friends and family follow, singing raucous songs. And then everyone goes to a restaurant and eats a nice dinner.

4. Recycling. Virtually non-existent during our 2008 visit, there are now more color-coded boxes and bins than you can shake a stick at.

5. Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival. This annual four-day event, organized and presented by a powerhouse group of young women and men from Venice’s venerable university, brings together an eclectic international mix of short films, animation, gems from the archive and special multi-media programs in a former church turned cinema. After participating on the afternoon’s Viral Video panel (Simultaneous translation! Wow!),  our evening presentation of The Sound We See, Edendale Follies, Around The World With The Here & Now and a few rousing rounds of Tombola  is attended  by a beaming crowd of students, faculty members, cousins, filmmakers, tourists, and dear friends… There are certain performances when there is so much love in the room, you know you’ll carry the moment with you forever…

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Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr travel the world, sharing movies and music with the masses. At home in Los Angeles, they facilitate community screenings and workshops at the Echo Park Film Center, a non-profit media arts organization.

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