70 Directors for Venice 70
Born in 1933 in Pozzolengo in the province of Brescia, where he still lives, he graduated in Law but was soon thunderstruck by the masterpieces of Russian cinema, by the films of Joris Ivens and David W. Griffith, and decided to try his hand at filmmaking with a small 8mm video-camera. In 1961 he made his first documentary short film Stagioni, inaugurating a poetic experimental style, often on bucolic themes, which he would pursue in other films, each of which he produced independently, such as Domenica sera, Emigranti, Evasi. It was the Venice Film Festival that placed him in the spotlight as an international-level auteur, screening his first feature-length film in Competition in 1982: Il pianeta azzurro, an experimental “visual and sound symphony” with no dialogue, observes man immersed in nature with the passing of the seasons. Piavoli later made only three feature-length films that are very close to the documentary form because of their focus on man and nature, but encroach onto the terrain of experimental narrative film with their sophisticated dramaturgical development: Nostos – Il ritorno (Nostos: The Return, 1989), a personal re-elaboration of the myth of Ulysses, presented Out of Competition at the Locarno Film Festival; Voci nel tempo (Voices in Time, 1996), with which Piavoli returned to Venice in the Settimana del Cinema Italiano section; Al primo soffio di vento (At the First Breath of Wind, 2002), the story of a day in August in the Lombard countryside. The director’s latest works include the collaboration with Ermanno Olmi in the documentary film Terra madre (2009).
1982 – Il pianeta azzurro – Cinema 82 Opera Prima section (screenplay, director)
1996 – Voci nel tempo (Voices in Time) – Settimana del Cinema Italiano section (screenplay, director)