billionaire collector Francois Pinault
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Personally I wouldn't have thought that we needed another film about Casanova, but it seems that Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the somewhat unprolific director of Delicatessen, Amelie, and TS Spivet and stuff, is in pre-production with Amazon on a TV film of Casanova's escape to Paris.
In case you were looking forward to eventually watching the most recent episodes (19-22) in the Brunetti TV series I've just been told that MHz, who broadcast and make the DVDs of the subtitled versions, are saying that Donna Leon has contractually forbidden them from releasing them in non-German-speaking territories. How disappointing is that?
Back from my trip below with a worthy cause to publicise. If you've read Ali Smith's fine novel How to be Both you'll have been intrigued and enthused by the fresco cycle at the heart of the novel, painted by Francesco da Cossa. They are in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Mantua and the one fascinatingly focused on in the novel depicts the month of March coincidentally. If you've been there you'll remember the refreshing little garden behind the palazzo and it's tastefully quaint and ramshackle cafe. Well the garden and the cafe are now threatened with demolition and building over. The area around the place is pretty run down and I noticed many empty buildings but no, the plan is to spoil one of the city's major attractions, and one destined to become more popular as Ali Smith's book is discovered by more people. Not as guaranteed as it would be if we were talking rubbish by Dan Brown, but still. If this annoys you too I have a petition form I can send you a scan of if you can rustle up the signatures of maybe a dozen art and literature fans and scan and email it back. It's all being coordinated by the artist who also runs the cafe - I have his email address but hesitate to post it here and subject him to a spam blizzard. Nothing online yet, but it can only be a matter of time.
Another trip, but a short one:
Mantua & Ferrara
Today I speak of wonders, and of their continuing not ceasing. Yesterday I sent an email to Heinemann asking for a review copy of Falling in Love, Donna Leon's new Brunetti, due out on the 9th of April, and this morning lo, it came through my letterbox. A cheering turn of events, to be sure, as it's been many a year since one of my emails to them has even been answered. My love of publishers and their press officers has increased no end. Expect a review before the weekend's out.
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Venice // Florence // London // Berlin
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