Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Louder Laughter

As I entered the theatre, in the last row I saw two empty seats next to Nik. One was for sure for Nancy, who was probably going to arrive in a little. So I went to Nik and asked him if I could seat next to them.

I had my first winks with Nancy and Nik that afternoon, while I was standing in the entrance as lovely cotton candy girl for the KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival, which I joined as volunteer (having really a lot of fun). Ironically, when I was a child I never tasted any cotton candy, they didn't appeal me at all, and my first time was only a pair of months before the festival, by chance (grazie a Lady Nocina!). But, apparently, cotton candy recalls sweet early memories to most of the people: giving cotton candy for free as I had to do was indeed a very pleasant task, because everyone was infinitely grateful for that unexpected flashback with that hypnotic machine. So it was for Nancy, who indeed was enthusiastic just like a child.

And again she was that enthusiastic when the cartoon Gay Purr-ee* started, because it was a film she watched many times and she loved since her childhood.
She was not just enthusiastic, she was having some very serious fun, actually.
I mean, she was laughing much louder than me.
 – If you know me, you know that's a serious matter. –
Her laughter was absolutely the louder in the theatre and probably the louder I've ever heard.
I'm a total fan of laughters, so I just joined her pleasure with all my heart.
At a certain point, she held my hand authentically happy and she thanked me for sharing the laughs; then I couldn't avoid to proudly tell her how much the laugh is actually meaningful to me and that it has even been the topic of my little thesis, leaving the high school.
The feeling was totally like that satisfaction of finally meeting someone who understands, for both of us.
«The point is that I laugh of absurdity. I just see the absurdity everywhere – and I laugh of it.»
We completed our sentences each other.
«It is like… Waiting…»
«…for Godot

And so it was that she mentioned me Norman Cousins, who healed himself by laughing (thanks above all to Marx Brothers filmography!).
You also have the Internet, so I won't steal you the joy of  eventually researching more by yourself, since my current informations are not very deep yet. Here I just want to specify that, of course, it's hard to know how actually Cousins survived 26 years more than his doctor prediction, but, after all, I'm not so surprised by the power of the laughter.

Are you?

…All this disconnected post, by the way, it's because I realised I didn't publish yet my humble Nancy's portrait, nor the other few sketches I made at KLIK!, and since I just noticed her birthday was the 10th of February, well, that's perhaps a nice chance to fix that, isn't it?

Here's Nancy, folks!


A cellist at the lobby…

…and the drummer

Mr. Paul Rudish
(dedicated to my beloved Elisa Cristantielli)

I had never watched Gay Purr-ee (1962, Abe Levitow) before, but I sometimes had a familiar sensation… But for sure that's not because I instead know The Aristocats (1970)… it must be a mere coincidence…

Monday, 3 February 2014

Masha And Rudi Are Beautiful.

 –  Andiamo, Rudi!

Rudi is so sleepy that he doesn't understand Masha is telling him she's also tired and she wants to go home. He's already lost in the dreams, doesn't listen. She just tries to wake him up gently and sweetly.

Meanwhile, I contemplate the scene on my couch from my desk and I grab my beloved sketchbook.

A few months ago, Masha and Rudi did that thing, that double signature, you know, that thing that tells loud also to the law that two persons love each other and want to stay together.

All the thing happened in an unusual way. They didn't mind about the traditional huge parties which people feel kind of mandatory. They just wanted to make sure their union can't be broken by anything, no matters the nationality or the place where you live.

Still, I and their other friends wanted to celebrate such a wonderful love.

So we told them a nice bunch of lies not to let them organise anything at all, we blindfolded 'em and Michele drove them in a bakfiets, the typical Dutch cargo bike, bringing them in our favourite spot in town, where we gave them our gift and we finally partied.

At that moment and during most of the beginning of our surprise, I was so excited that my hands physically couldn't correctly handle the camera; I've been thrilling all the time.
And afterwards, I was so busy with having fun and with chilling out, that I didn't take the camera at all.
…So, well, forgive the quality of these pictures. Still, it's much pleasure to share them also on my blog. They come from a very precious and emotional day, so I wish you'll feel that as well.

Thanks again and again to every single friend who made real that afternoon.

At the end of the ride

Leaving the bakfiets

Entering our "secret" place

Opening the gift

Uncorking the bottle(s-s-s-s-s)
(go, Rudi, gooo!!!)

And enjoying it all…


This drawing was the sketch I made as crown of the pie made by Michele (our favourite cook ever…). As reference, I used a photograph which my dear friend Carolina Farina can recognise among hers… indeed it was a portrait she made of them during her backstage of Animal Insect, the video we made for Heidi Harris the past may. That videoclip has been basically the first reason we started to meet, also because after accepting the invite to act for me, Masha decided to help me on the set. But what first inspired me to picture them as characters was exactly their love, which hypnotised me when I didn't know them very well.

And, well, I can't tell how sweet has been being by their side during that afternoon…

* If you also wish to dance so passionately like Masha and me in that picture, here our secret!

Ops, no, wait. That was not our secret (also, you know, it's a secret, after all…).
Still, you better listen to that song and shake your ass, anyway.