Friday, February 6, 2009


Robert Star in Venice
(11 bt 4 Robert)


Robert (Santa Claus's substitute) cleaning his little house, finds, forgotten under the bed, an undelivered Christmas present addressed to a child who lives in Venice (Florida).
To deliver the package quickly he decides to catch a plane, bt at the airport he loses his glasses, takes the wrong flight and arrives in Venice
Thinking he's in an Italian-American community in Florida he tries to communicate in Sicilian-American slang (sicilenglish), and by using the only words in Italian he knows well: the text of Andrea Bocelli's song "Con te partirò".
He finds lodgings in a house occupied by squatters where he meets Tot
o-1, an unconventional gondolier active in various collectives; George, an Australian singer with an obsession for Greek music whom everyone calls Constantinos Vassilissis; Ute, a German poet (bt Latin lover) with a passion for tattoos (her entire body is tattooed with the names of the tourists - male and female - she has conquered); and Carmela, an imposing theater director from Naples who wants to stage a musical on the trash films of T. Milian.
At the end of the day, when he is presented with the bill, Robert realizes that he's in a hotel. In this city not only the Venetians bt even the squatters have difficulty in finding housing: since there are no more buildings to be occupied, they adapt to living in hotels.
Meanwhile he goes round with Toto-1 in his gondola, looking for the address on the package.

By mistake, they ring the doorbell of Aunt_Shut_Up, an elderly lady obsessed with noises.
Aunt_Shut_Up screams at him to speak softly, receives him with a loudly shouted
"Shhhhhhh" and, in the end, calls Spiderman.

The second attempt is in a shop chock-full of extremely fragile Venetian glass souvenirs, where moving around without breaking anything takes the skill of a contortionist.
Robert enter the apartment of some university co-eds, six girls abandoned by their roommate who was the boyfriend of all six-them; he is immediately pounced on by the group (deprived, cold turkey, of kisses) and tries to get away bt the co-eds won't let him, taking turns kissing him all afternoon.
He manages to escape from the apartment by letting himself down from a window, finds Toto-1 again and they have dinner together at the "Spaghetti Western" restaurant. Inside, for entertainment, some gunslingers do target practice, aiming at plates of spaghetti lined up in rows. Robert takes part in the shoot-out bt, by mistake, hits the chef/sheriff's collection of vintage wines. The ineviatble duel with the chef/sheriff is interrupted by two Indian musicians who enter singing 'O sole mio.
Robert, Toto and Carmela, having left the commune-hotel, are given hospitality for a few days by Egle, a very talkative widow and excellent cook (the trio are obliged to take cooking lessons, garnished with nostalgic tales of her dead husband's vigor), bt then they find lodgings on a roof-terrace transformed into a hut.

George "Constantinos" invites them to a party thronged with eccentrics and creatives.

Here he meets Cicci_Impacci (recognizable by the little sugar skull he holds in his hand), an artist constantly tormented by amletic doubts on the contemporary artistic currents, and Paparazza, a performance art photographer.
.Right in the middle of the party the eagerly awaited El Barba arrives, a thin, hairy character. El Barba always talks about bridges, he thinks that in Venice everything can be solved by building bridges everywhere. "There's a bridge for every problem" is his motto: he wants to transform the city into a big B&B Bridge & Breakfast. The party guests listen to his plans with great seriousness, Robert tries to intervene in the dispute with his repertory of twister phrases à la Bocelli, bt El Barba, furious, accuses him of defeatism and throws him out. FLASH! Paparazza documents the scene snapping a photo.
The new attempt to deliver the package is at the Venice Biennale of Art.
In the China exhibition hall he comes across a fat artist intent on drawing large colored snacks on the walls, who introduces himself as K.M.M.
The man offers to help him find the address, suggesting he look in the Cannaregio neighborhood. The quickest way to get there is by water, following the Grand Canal, bt while Robert gets into the gondola, the heavy K.M.M., to avoid sinking it, gets on a barge.
The two of them strike up a lively conversation. Because of the distance between the boats Robert can't make out all the words, bt when K.M.M. tells him his full name Robert is astounded: it is the same as the one in the address on the package, Kory Mario Mix!
The artist is, actually, a seven-year-old child from Florida on a business trip to Venice, grown terribly big and fat on too many transgenic snacks. He's exhibiting at the Venice Biennale, and has been waiting for the package containing the missing piece of his work, an installation (The Great Wall of China-Berlin) constructed with 5000 chocolate snacks. Why is an American exhibiting in the China exhibition space? K.M.M. answers evasively, bt makes
Robert a gift of a big box of candy.
Happy ending: Carmela asks Robert to participate in the musical where Toto and George "Constantinos" are performing. Robert, of course, would like to sing Bocelli, bt Carmela gets him to sing country music. So, between Toto, Ute, Carmela and K.M.M.'s little scenes and George's Greek music, Robert, dressed as a cowboy, sings a "country" music classic: 'O sole mio. Great success and applause. A Star is Born?
Daniele Scarpa Kos