We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A beautiful summer evening in a Venetian campo, and a little Johnny Depp- not too shabby

It's summertime in Venice, and that means time for outdoor movies in Campo San Polo.

Every summer, Campo San Polo becomes a bit busier with the construction of the outdoor theatre that will be used from the end of July  until the beginning of September. I've walked by here countless times, always wondering what an outdoor movie would be like. This year when I saw the lineup of movies, and noted that one in particular was being shown in English, I made sure to get it on my calendar.

We haven't been out to a movie since we moved here. Movies aren't particularly easy to get to, you have to go to the Lido or into Mestre for a good selection of current run films.  There is one cinema in Cannaregio, however most movies are in Italian without subtitles in English. That pretty much rules it out for us, we need the subtitles.

Tuesday evening, we ate a little earlier in order to ensure we'd be at San Polo at 8pm when the box office opened. We needn't have rushed, there were only a handful of people besides ourselves. While I was convinced this performance would be crowded, Mike disagreed. Looks like he was going to win this one.  I waited patiently in line for tickets.  The box office didn't open at 8. Typical Italian, I found myself thinking!  Due to technical difficulties, it was more like 8:20.  I eventually bought tickets. While I waited in line, Mike walked to the nearby cafe for a cup of coffee.

Mike didn't get his coffee.  It turns out the cafe in Campo San Polo has recently changed ownership. No longer can you stop just for drinks. If you aren't eating, you;re not sitting.  This is unfortunate. Over the years we've frequented this cafe numerous times, always for a coffee or a cold drink.  Mike also tried the pizza place on the other end of the campo- same thing. If you aren't eating, you aren't being served. Since we had enough time until the movie started at 9:30, we made the short walk over to Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio. Finally, coffee!

I wanted to be back at Campo San Polo at 9:00 pm when the doors to the movie opened to ensure I'd get a seat I would be ok with.  This isn't regular movie theatre seating where the rows are like an amphiteatre. Here all the seats are on the same level, and I wanted to be able to see - just in case a tall person sat down in front of me.  Just as I predicted, I ended up having to move seats twice in order to be able to see without an obstructed view.  And who sits down 2 seats away from me? The ex-Mayor of Venice!  Looks like I'm not the only person eager to see this movie.  Before long, the place was filled!

Here's a few things I noted about summer movies in Campo San Polo for the next time I go:
- Bring snacks. There is no popcorn concession here.
- Dress up. The Italian women were all in dresses, the men in dress slacks and shirts.
- Don't arrive so early.  It's fashionable to arrive only a few minutes before showtime.

You have probably guessed it by now. Yes, we were all at Campo San Polo to see The Tourist, with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.  I'm sure many in the audience, like myself, had seen the movie before. Non importa, (it's not important)- we were all there to see Venice on the big screen.  We'd all lived through several months of these super stars being in our midst the year prior, and had waited eagerly to see the results of all their hard work.

Anyone intimiately familiar with Venice will know instantly that this film contains some very creative editing. Venice in the movie isn't quite Venice in reality. One scene in particular where Elise is dropping Frank off at the airport is a good example.  As she is pulling the boat away and you watch her motor towards St. Mark's square, it appears that the airport is located at the Giudecca!!  As we all watched the movie, it was clear everyone in the audience  recognized each  and every one of those "creatively edited" scenes as well! None the less, everyone seemed be quite pleased to see their city up there on the big screen. Venice is Venice, afterall.  The last line of the movie sums it up beautifully...."Well, not just anywhere."

There's a pretty good lineup of movies going on this summer. If you are visiting Venice between now and the end of the first week in September, you might consider catching a movie in Campo San Polo. You never know, I might just be in the audience with you!

Here's a link to the schedule of movies playing this summer:


Andrew said...

I'd like to see this movie again just to see Angelina walk 'that walk'. Because of this I am prepared to forgive the anomalies. A view from the Daniele across the Grand canal? Daniele with a water gate?

Michelle said...

It opened here in Seattle in time for my birthday last December and my friend and I caught it that week. She was wondering why I kept chuckling and then since I don't talk while at the movies (unlike most people here) I explained to her that airport drop off scene etc.
All else considered it did have glorious shots of my favorite city.
Sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening in Venice!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

This is on our list of films we want to see sometime :)

Dianne said...

We enjoyed The Tourist when it came around here in Florida. I love Johnny Depp and who would complain about watching the beautiful Angela in glorious clothes. I can't recall now if I noticed the anomalies.
On another note, any idea why you can no longer sit at those cafes in Campo San Paolo? Could it be because of the Asian takeover or are cafe and shop owners trying to gain even more money from the tourists?

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is a water gate at the Daniele but it is on a side canal (rio del Vin), not fronting the Riva. As for the anomolies, movies always take liberties, especially during the editing stage. The Tourist does play up some beautiful shots of Venice but it is very much a "theme park" view of the city and ultimately only increases its role as a center of tourism rather than a living city. Too bad.
Meanwhile, Karen, your posts are wonderful. I admire your writing as much as your adventures. Please keep it up and long may you continue to love your life.

karen said...