For a city in danger of disappearing underwater relatively soon (what do a couple hundred years mean in the large scheme of things?), Venice is so calm and constant that it makes you think it’s not aware of the impending disaster at all. The truth might be that it consciously chooses not to stress over it; Venice is the only city where everything is always the same and people enamored with it will come back to it despite it rarely offering anything that isn’t centuries or at least decades old (Venice is small, I believe it’s possible to see all the main tourist attractions in 1-2 days). For example, every other Venetian masks store displays a sign claiming they were the official masks supplier for Eyes Wide Shut in their window. Even if they really did make masks for Kubrick, that was more than 10 years ago, meaning they continue to rest on laurels of the past, not thinking about how they could improve their business with a more recent achievement or idea.
Speaking of Kubrick, we unexpectedly found ourselves at an exhibition of his photos (shown for the first time) at the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti. He shot them between 1945 and 1950 when he wasn’t a filmmaker yet and the negatives were lost for a long time; looking at the photos I was surprised that someone who not only had “the eye” but also vast knowledge about the technical side of photography would change his profession and become a film director. He did make prominent use of his photography skills in his films, but still. There isn’t a single photo in this exhibition that doesn’t create a world of its own. The exhibition runs until November 14; if you’re in Venice, right now it’s the one thing you cannot miss.