The Greatest Masquerade
Archived VHS video review
Note: Venetian Carnevale's Web site is no longer
active, and the video appears to be out of print. (The old Web link now points
to a "rock art murals" site, so we've removed it from this archived article.)
you want to buy the documentary, we'd suggest trying eBay or a site that sells
Venetian Carnevale, a documentary by Jon-Beau Lee, is a 40-minute
tour of Venice's annual Carnival, with an
emphasis on costumes, masks, and miming.
The film opens with a dramatic shot of a small float that represents a book
with a gilded statue of the Winged Lion (Venice's official symbol) astride its
open pages. A costumed Carnevale participant shares the equisitely
crafted float as it rises and falls on the waves of St. Mark's Basin.
Next, we see a handful of TV news-style "man in the piazza" interviews with
foreign tourists who comment on the festivities. This is followed by slightly
more than half an hour of random street scenes from Carnevale--mostly
people miming or strolling in ornate Carnival costumes, with one scene of young
acrobats performing a circus routine for passersby.
Venetian Carnevale: The Greatest Masquerade is long on costumes and
short on narration. Still, it's a bargain at US $19.95, and we'd recommend it to
anyone who wants a souvenir of Carnevale or who's interested in costume
and masquerade. If you're thinking of bringing your own outfit to the
Carnevale di Venezia, Jon-Beau Lee's video will be a great source of ideas
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