I was in London just last month, and Turin, by comparison, seemed almost provincial. The metropolitan area is quite spread out, but the historical centre is very compact and all the main sights can be visited on foot. I didn’t really start to enjoy myself until the day I rented a bike and went riding along the River Po. The weather was fantastic—sunny but not too hot, and the ride, through the river bank and parks, was very scenic.
At the festival, I kept mostly to myself, not out of shyness or melancholy, but because I was so involved with my new script. Alone in a foreign city, I had few distractions, and the ideas started to flow more easily. Seeing one of two gay films a day was also very inspirational, perhaps because all gay films share a certain subversiveness and an impulse to explore forbidden desires. I wrote more in one week than I did in the past 3 months. As a result I missed most of the festival parties, even skipping out on the closing night party, no doubt offending my hosts in the process. But when the muse calls, you don’t tell her to come back later, after the party!