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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Hocus Pocus まやかし

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film that follows a villainous comedic trio of witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage boy (Omri Katz) in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween night. Upon its release, it received mixed reviews from film critics and was not a box office success, but in subsequent years - annual celebration of Halloween has helped make the film a cult classic.

Cosplay is not as frequently done a theme at the Venice Carnival as compared to full masks, painted faces, historical costumes, clowns or vampires, although the Venetian backdrops and locations do provide beautiful scenes for portraits.

Hocus Pocus by my friends Elena, Adele and Valeria proved to be a big hit especially among local Italian photographers, who generally prefer photographing painted faces or historical costumers to people in full masks.

We woke up early one morning to do photos on the streets before the stores open and before the tourist crowd comes in. Some of the courtyards are just a stone's throw away from the streets so we had to be very quiet not to wake the residents and not to attract to much attention. The ladies and me have plenty of jokes to share and can't help bursting out into laughter every few minutes, then constantly reminding ourselves it is only 8am and much of the locals might still be sleeping...

The best part of it was recording an iPhone video just for fun and sharing amongst friends only. It had to be done in silence and then for me to put in the music during post production. There was no script, just 30 seconds of action on the spot....Valeria just did a fainting episode and then waking up feeling dazzled halfway thru the video...we asked her what was that about...her reply: Striked by lightning....

These Italian friends of mine love visiting me at my hotel every year...we generally make a lot of noise at the common area and take some nice souvenir photos...For us, the Venice Carnival is more about meeting friends and having a good time.

"Mmm, mmm, mmm! I need one of those instant ice packs. You girls are giving me a fever!"

"It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus... It’s a full moon outside, the weirdos are out! I suggest we form a calming circle....Well, it says to form a circle of salt to protect from zombies, witches and old boyfriends..."

“Come! We fly!”

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