Just one (more) Cornetto

Just one Cornetto _ blogsize

Venice, Friday.

I never see a gondola without thinking of that ludicrous (but very funny) ad for Cadbury’s Walls Cornetto ice-creams. On my first visit to Venice, years ago, I was walking along an alleyway when I heard someone singing ‘O Solo Mia’ in the distance. I came round a corner, found myself at a canal and there was a gondolier singing to his American tourist clients as he punted them round the city. For a moment, I thought I must be hallucinating. But it was real: parody made flesh.

The guy on Friday wasn’t singing. Mercifully.

Larger version here.

So what’s with Eddie Redmayne and his camera?

Semiotics isn’t my thing, but I’d really like to know what’s going on in this full-page ad in the Financial Times.

Eddit_redmayne_w_Rolleiflex

On the face of it it’s an advertisement for an Omega wristwatch. But if so, what is Eddie Redmayne doing with a lovely 1960s Rolleiflex 2.8E?

Redmayne_Rolleiflex_detail

Is it because he’s a photography buff (plausible because a good many celebs have been snapped in the past wielding Rollei twin-lens reflexes)? Or is there some kind of subliminal message — for example that the Omega Globemaster watch belongs in the same category of superb analog engineering as the Rolleiflex?

Turns out that I’m not the only photography buff to spot the image. There’s a lively thread here which, among other things, contains some plaintive cries for someone to design a digital back for the Rollei, like has been done for the Hasselblad 500. But it isn’t going to happen, alas. Creating a digital back for the Hass was relatively straightforward, because it always had a separate, detachable back which held the film, so you could keep the camera body and just change the back. The Hasselblad CFV-50c doesn’t come cheap, though — it retails at ~£7,000. The watch is cheaper.