The masks are typically worn during the Carnevale (Carnival of Venice), but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer’s identity and social status. The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.
“One of my favorite shots is the stewardess, who is an actual United Airlines stewardess, pointing out the exits. You can see she’s done it a million times, and it’s such a real moment. No actress could do that.” ~ Christian Clemenson