Venice is a city of natural mystery.  It’s streets are a medieval maze whose twists and turns and dead ends comprise the root system of the stone buildings grown up up to hide them even from maps.  At 2 am its empty streets have all the charm of a child’s sudden frightening loneliness, but to a stumbling Festival goer it’s just another case of where the f am I.

The Venice canal system makes much more sense, but with patience a trek through the maze of alleyways has as mysterious a charm as any writer could hope for in stirring the ashes for some ember or spark of meaningful creativity.

The festival rocks with a variety of offerings, but I am so jet lagged that working for the various sponsors alternatively has more than a little appeal to pass catatonic time. 

I have been blessed to see some very visually beautiful offerings like Queen, Zwartboek, Black Dahlia, the extraordinary eye candy called The Fountain, and the anime flick Paprika.  After Cannes 2005, I was determined to bring "product".   While vacationing in LA from Taos, New Mexico (sounds strange doesn’t it.) I had an animation revelation, bought a wacom digital tablet and began animating away for about a month.  I came up with 3 sets of close up key frames involving 2 political leaders of our day.  With them come my pitch for a feature length animation project of political impact with innovative narrative stream.  All life is politics, after all.  From the simplest to the grandest levels of organization, it is about the units of organization negotiating with the environment, and after Stephen Frears spokes with us I wanted to pitch to him.  After deliberating the merits of an 18 euro gazpacho and deciding to find food elsewhere, I passed Mr. Frears on the way out as he was sitting with someone and looking at least a little receptive to my approach, but my mind was too scattered.  I needed to first eat, and then return with renewed energy.  By then he had eaten and checked out, though a final message was left in his box with a copy of one of the key frames.  So it goes.  As a wise person once said, "Be ready." 

Patience is a good thing to have.  I share a room with Jack.  Our room is the smallest dorm room ever.  Maybe you heard I locked him in and he had to escape by gondola over a side canal which runs under our window.   What a stud. 

Pip Chodorofsky, a Cannes mentor, had a side show venue right near the Excelsior hotel where all the social action is rumored to take place.  It is a "shorts" venue which offered a wide range of viewing over about an hour and a half.

Between the lost luggage, bad diet, late nights, early mornings and lack of some to throw a disk with, its all good.  I’m having a blast.

Marty Meltzer, Venice 9/05/06

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