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Venetian Carnevale:
The Greatest Masquerade

Archived VHS video review


Venetian Carnevale - photoNote: Venetian Carnevale's Web site is no longer active, and the video appears to be out of print.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.)

If you want to buy the documentary, we'd suggest trying eBay or a site that sells used videos.


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 and inspiration.


Articles about the Carnevale di Venezia:

Photos and videos: