Following up on his innovative work Timecode, which featured four stories being told in real time simultaneously, Mike Figgis returns to a modified form of his technique in this film about the tourists, the prostitutes, the tour guides, a killer, and a film crew who frequent the Hungarian Palace Hotel in Venice, Italy. A corrupt Eastern European politician and his moll are visiting the city to complete a shady business deal while Sophie is a high-priced call girl who makes an office in one of the hotel's suites. The film crew is attempting to shoot a Dogma 95-style adaptation of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi only to run into one problem after another. Magic is a professional assassin with a very odd kink -- he must have sex immediately after completing a job. Quintus, who abandoned his attempts to get fame and fortune as an actor, is a tour guide with an unusual secret. And then there is maid who not only has the skeleton key to the hotel, but also a habit of snooping. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.
by Jonathan Crow synopsis