By dint of re-evaluating Series B films, cinema has become – on a cultural level – a Series B art. While we amused ourselves with the unshocked comedies or the fist fights revered by Quentin Tarantino, rigorous masters such as Béla Tarr or Jean-Luc Godard entered the shadows.
Even once-famous authors such as Wim Wenders are struggling to get out in cinemas. Even more lateral is the independent Italian cinema, despite boasting an absolute master, Franco Piavoli, author of a few feature films but all series a, unfortunately.
His masterpieces are “The blue planet”, a contemplative poem on the terrible beauty of nature, and “Voices in time”, a fresco on the seasons of the year and life. What is the magic of these films substantiated? With an apparently naive look but really dramatic, prehensile, able to reveal and correlate.
Of 2016 is “Feast”, presented in Locarno and today visible in streaming on Indiecinema, the channel created by director Fabio Del Greco and entirely dedicated to independent cinema. “Festa” is a medium-length film made up of thoughtful faces, suspended moments, old dancing couples, small meaningful gestures to tell the Italian province with joy and melancholy. With poetry. Serie a cinema, unfortunately.
Franco Piavoli has always lived in Pozzolengo, a village in the hinterland of northern Italy near Lake Garda. He was a teacher and a documentary maker for passion, when he was discovered by the independent director Silvano Agosti, who encouraged him to make feature films and produced “The blue planet”.
I remember a lunch a few years ago at Piavoli’s house, with pumpkin ravioli and mustard. His beloved wife Neria Poli, an existential and creative point of reference for him (as assistant director), had recently passed away.
For coffee we were joined by a friend of his who proposed – for the upcoming Easter holiday – to go with other friends to a distant exotic location at the time. Piavoli declined the invitation because he couldn’t miss the egg ritual.
He explained to us that it was his tradition, on Easter Monday, to wake up at dawn, walk to the neighboring village and eat a freshly laid egg on the farm. An egg is enough for Franco Piavoli to read the world.