Monday, June 27, 2005

Hannibal In Firenze: The Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio a notte
Originally uploaded by aabitia.
The next entry about the film "Hannibal" in Florence features another prime attraction in the heart of the city, the Palazzo Vecchio, or "Old Palace". As you may recall from the film, it is here where Dr. Lecter illustrated his displeasure with the Italian Inspector Pazzi by dangling him off the edge of the balcony of the main building, also known as the Palazzo della Signoria. In the photo, you can just make out said balcony, above the main centre door. Now, if you've ever been to the Palazzo Vecchio, you'd know how eye-rollingly-ludicrous that scene in the movie was, simply because of the absence of people. At any time of the day, virtually around the clock, the square is teeming with humanity--not exactly conducive to pulling off the perfect clandestine crime. I suppose you could say that this was enough ruin the "realism" of the plot. True, but what really bugged me in that scene was that it appeared that between "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal", Dr. Lecter seemed to have morphed from a bloodcurdling psychopath to some wildly off-kilter Garrison Keiller clone, using phrases like, "okey doke", just before he took care of Signore Pazzi. Give me a break.

Anyway, a bit of history: The Palazzo della Signoria was built between the 13th and 16th centuries. This main building was originally constructed as a palace for royalty, eventually becoming home to the Medici family. Soon after the Medicis took residence, part of the building and surrounding structures became what is today the world-famous Uffizi museum, the corner of which you can just see at the far right. After the passing of the Medicis and subsequent dego occupants, the building became the seat of the Italian government when Florence was the capital city of Italy. Today, it functions as the halls for the City Council; however, you can still tour much of it and see the actual locations of many of the scenes from the film, not to mention stunning architecture, paintings, frescoes and sculptures from such artists as Michelangelo and Donatello. Finally, also visible in the photo are two sculptures just in front of the Signoria building: "Fontana di Nettuno" (the Fountain of Neptune), and a copy of Michelangelo's "David", which replaced the original in the last century.

Before we conclude with this entry about "Hannibal" in Florence, I would just like to get on my "high horse" for a few moments. (I am exceedingly good at this.) I did have a personal conflict with this film because of the excessive violent content (combined with seemingly no moral message). Therefore, I will not watch it again. The reason I watched "Hannibal" was because of the setting of the film, and that is really all. However, I am not at all a fan of the "horror" film genre. The plots are thinner than the clear coats on 1980s Camaros, and on top of that, you've got to wonder about anyone who views the torture and dismemberment of human beings as a valid form of entertainment, particularly since these types of terrible incidents seem to be on the rise in American society, the perpetrators often acting out scenes from these idiotic films almost verbatim. Therefore, I would like to propose that real, live fans of "horror" films be taken out to a grassy field on a fully moonlit night and taunted with being maimed in some way via a lethal instrument, such as a red hot George Foreman grill, just so they can see how funny it is. (Yeah, real shocker: it isn't.)

All of this said, ultimately, the film "Hannibal" was indeed disturbing, but fortunately was overshadowed by the sheer stupidity of the script, which rendered it nearly laughable, untenable, and ultimately a bit boring, the impeccable Italian style of Dr. Lecter notwithstanding. So please, accept this as my explanation for these entries, and/or my sincere apology for giving such a violent film any further publicity. There, now you don't have to send me a nastygram; see how it all worked out in the end?

My love to you all. Okey doke, now let's move on to nicer things.