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We at Lampoon like stories, we never miss the chance of inventing a new one. This story is named The Venice Waltz – and it has been dedicated to music. All the music that was played in Venice, at Benedetto Marcello Conservatory, to all the talents, artists, musicians who stayed with us last night, so many and with different competencies.

A big thank you to the woman who has made this possible – because over the last two years a person has been teaching us to think even bigger than we thought we could. Tiffany & Co. CEO in Italy and Spain, Raffaella Banchero. For two years now, Lampoon and Tiffany have been cooperating harmoniously, thus creating a wonderful synergy that we have called Keep On Shining and which makes us very pride and honoured. Heartfelt thanks to the whole team of Tiffany & Co., which has worked with us on this project, Flavia Menapace, Allegra Ziletti – and Francesca Scarrone, executive producer of the party.

Thanks to Moët & Chandon and Belvedere Vodka, which once again have helped us to give energy, light and fire to this night in Venice.

Thanks to the delegation of the movie Diva! which has joined us at the Conservatory and which has taken part in The Venice Waltz. On the same day, a few hours earlier, movie by Francesco Patierno tribute to life and art by Valentina Cortese, was presented out of competition at the Film Festival.

Thanks to all the students of the Conservatory, who have played in a diffused orchestra, in the field outside the palace, in courtyards, here on the stage – directed by Franco Rossi. Thanks to Giulia Mazzoni who performed on the piano, to Violante Placido and her guitar, to the Counterfeit and Jamie Campbell Bower who have made shining everything that was illuminated. Thanks to Ladyvette and their Paradiso dedicated to The Venice Waltz.The Venice Waltz

Text Carlo Mazzoni

We met Margherita in Venice. A palace full of people, the vaults of the Eighteenth Century and frescos. The air of the canal went in through the windows, inebriating the crowd, it glided over the marble, the stuccoworks, the stone and style jambs. The guests worn a mask, the ladies put on dresses with trains and tiaras on grey hair, children dressed like rock stars. An electronic and enchanted impulse spread out like in a confused dream – like the Capulets party in 1996: magic danced with hours, silks with mermaids, Ingres with Athena. Everything around us shined. You raised your arm to show me someone – her – on the other side of the hall. I followed the direction of your finger: Margherita. We observed Margherita dancing slowly, moving like spirals, a gown of mirrors, her long hair scattered with drops of glass. You asked me: «Who is she?», with unusual ingenuity. An odd strength opened you the way. The crowd moved, stopped dancing to let you by. You stopped at a one-metre distance. Margherita twisted around. She saw you. She breathed slowly.

Margherita smiled, backed you up and kept the rhythm, she leaned her hand on yours: «Saints have holy lips, like hands» you kissed her behind her ear. Margherita touched your lips and went away. Minutes passed by. I came to the bathroom with you to wash your face. We dampened our hair to cool down – you took a deep breath, you leaned your back on the fish tank – yes, a fish tank, a huge fish tank never seen before, with plenty of violet fishes and octopuses. You could not even take two breaths – Margherita came in.

Margherita ignores us. She moves closer to the sink; she takes out a dark pencil, she draws the contour below her lashes. Two of her friends come up with her in front of the mirror. Margherita asks her friend on her right side: «Darling, where did you forget all your colours, some golds, your diamonds?». They leave, offended. «I just wanted to get rid of them» Margherita says, and she moves towards us: «Shall I put makeup on your eyes?». You are pale. My throat is dry. We are before a psychopath or the most charming woman on the planet.

She put makeup on our eyes. We left that sumptuous palace. On a boat, Margherita sat on the back, and she said: «We must wait for Sonia» – she explained us that Sonia had so many boyfriends, scattered here and there, in every city, that Sonia was able to argue with each one of them, how the one “on duty” seemed to be on the point of exaggerated neurosis, that Sonia then needed us. Margherita answered the phone – we could hear some shouts – she had a sigh, she yawned again and said: «She’s here».

Sonia runs towards our boat. Behind her, a young man inveighs: «Shut up, with all those lifting surgeries you cannot even speak » – and Sonia replies: «Don’t you see I am shouting?»«Yes, and you look like Ciripirippikoda (Ciribiribì Kodak. «And you look like Tutankhamun, take this! », Sonia gets on the boat, in a rush – she implores the boatman: «Go, go » – you put into gear, leave, run away from Sonia’ stalker and she says: «I don’t understand those men who want transvestites , I would like to go for sluts», and then she introduces herself: «Hello, I am Sonia, hello, before hormones I was Sandro, but I hate Sandra, I am Sonia, nice to meet you» and she sets with her skirt on the seat, finally in peace.

We disembarked at the Academy. Margherita set out with her gown of dresses, her glass drops in her hair. We crossed the bridge. Sonia reminded me of the protagonist of a Baglioni’song: not too tall, blonde hair, a large woollen jumper over two perfect boobs, a foot-long skirt, light. We sat on the steps before a calle, a little bit of grass under the two cypresses. Sonia talked about her boyfriend, how lately he had been becoming a real fairy: «He seems to be a woman, that sucks, you know, those women who watch pornos hoping that the protagonists will get married?».

I asked her if I could take some photos of her, of course said Sonia, vain – she felt asleep. You and I told Margherita about the nights around Italy, about music in our ears, about lust: «Golden moments are those when you tell about life, the decline is when you tell about art» you told her. «Which one do you choose?» I asked her. Margherita replied that to fall asleep she needed a popper underneath her pillow. Margherita learned how to deflate us, immediately. Margherita was a catalysis, a nuclear accelerator for the two of us. She said that love is luck which almost never happens to people who get married – that beauty is not love, it is never love, it is something more: beauty, like a king’s ransom, make loners, lost, make free. «There is not a more absurd feeling than friendship between two men», Margherita said: «Friendship between two men is something that everyone thinks to know, while it occurs once on a million times. When it exists, it is difficult to tolerate. It is that love which God said there is not a deeper one – and for this reason, perhaps only Gods are able to feel it. Two friends are the most incredible men on earth».

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