billionaire collector Francois Pinault
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I don't think I've made any secret of the fact that for a while now my reading and visits have reflected an attitude towards Venice that can best be described as 'getting a broader perspective'. But, whilst I'm still of the opinion that there's much more to life, literature and art appreciation than that which Venice contains and inspires, I am spending a week there in September (and another in November) so expect a fair bit more content devoted to a city we all rank near the top.
Sometimes it takes news as mind-boggling as the fact that a church you've never been in in Venice is currently open, and hosting an art installation comprising ranks of fridges, to make you realise you've got to get yourself there, soon. Sadly said exhibition ends today, but I'm booked and going anyway, in mid- September. There are other churches specially open, and five new rooms in the Accademia too, you see.
I'm off to Madrid tomorrow, mostly to soak up the Flemish Primitives in the Prado, and their current Rogier van der Weyden exhibition. Toledo and the Thyssen-Bornemisza are on the list too. It's my first trip to Madrid, and indeed to Spain. I'll report back when I get back.
About a year ago I reported that Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, This Must Be the Place) was filming his new one in Venice. Youth, which premiered at Cannes a few weeks back, tells the story of two old geezers Fred and Mick (played by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) one a director and the other a conductor, who decide to go on a holiday together. It has been released in Italy but there's no UK release date as yet, the USA release date being December 4th 2015. I've managed to scan through a rubbish video recording made in an Italian cinema, with no subtitles yet, of course. Not a lot of Venice-set content, by the look of it, but a dream sequence involving drowning in rising waters in Piazza San Marco looked striking. Moving to Florence, the new season of Hannibal has moved its action there, and taken Gillian Anderson along too. And Eddie Izzard's in it! Jumping in at Season 3 goes strongly against my completist instincts, but that's what I'm planning.
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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin
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