The International House Philadelphia


The Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania
present the

Directors in Focus Film Series – Franco Piavoli


Wednesday, April 29 – Saturday, May 2


There are those rare occasions in the art of cinema when the definition of poetry must be expanded to include films of exquisite visual imagery that surpass the power of words. Director Franco creates such work. For over a quarter century, Franco Piavoli has been crafting a symphonic cinema in which natural sounds and images play like the notes of a musical score. Praised as "unusually beautiful" by the San Francisco Chronicle and enthusiastically received at the 1982 Venice Film Festival, his first feature Blue Planet played for an entire year in Rome.

*Special thanks to Regione Lombardia, Fondazione Banca Agricola Mantovana, Provincia di Brescia, Lombardia Film Commission, Fabio Finotti and Giuseppe Bruno-Bossio.*




Wednesday, April 29 - Saturday, May 2

Directors in Focus - Franco Piavoli


Co-presented by the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania


Wednesday, April 29 at 7pm

Blue Planet (Il pianeta azzurro)

dir. Franco Piavoli, Italy, 1982, 35mm, 90 mins, color


Winner of Italy's Academy Award, Blue Planet contains images and sounds meticulously collected over three years, that illustrate the passing of time through 24 hours of a day, the four seasons and the evolutionary existence of the planet itself. The film begins by capturing the simplicity of winter’s thaw into spring and then segues into everyday farm life in the Italian countryside, where a multi-generational family goes about its daily routine of harvesting the land.

Thursday, April 30 at 7pm

Nostos. The Return (Nostos. Il ritorno)

dir. Franco Piavoli, Italy, 1989, 87 mins, color, Hellenic Greek and Italian and English 


A sumptuous saga of man and nature, Nostos chronicles the journey of its title character as he returns home from war. His odyssey, fraught with natural obstacles, is a hero’s journey of mythic proportions, one in which Nostos rediscovers the world and himself. Part poem, part concert, the film mixes Wild Kingdomwith Ulysses to produce a work that transcends genres.

Friday, May 1 at 7pm 

Voices through Time (Voci nel tempo)

dir. Franco Piavoli, Italy, 1996, 89 mins, color


Set in a bucolic Lombardy village, Piavoli's lyric ode to the cycles of life charts the passages of infancy, youth, maturity and old age against the seasons of the year. The chimes of the clock in the town square punctuate the rhythm of existence birth, the amazements of childhood, the emotional upheavals of adolescence, the first attempts and failures in romance, the dancing, the loving, and the hallmark event of marriage. On that occasion the nostalgia for faded youth unfolds with poetic grace.


Saturday, May 2 at 5pm

At the First Breath of Wind (Al primo soffio di vento)

dir. Franco Piavoli, Italy, 2002, 89 mins, color, Italian w/ English subtitles


Franco Piavoli relies almost entirely on montage to develop this poetic portrait of a beautiful summer day and the family who spends it in almost total emotional isolation from one another. In a villa in Lombardy, they pass each other going from room to room - a few words are exchanged, but the underlying melancholy of their separate existences becomes increasingly poignant as the day progresses.  Time passes, and the viewer becomes increasingly aware of an extraordinary emotional experience is evoking. 

Saturday, May 2 at 7pm

Blue Planet Reprise  


Free admission members above Internationalist level; $5 Internationalist members, students + seniors; $7 general admission. 


Discount parking available at the Science Center Parking Garage, 3665 Market Street.  International House patrons receive a special evening/weekend rate of $5 per vehicle, effective after 4pm until 7am, Monday through Friday plus all day Saturday and Sunday.  Please bring your parking stub to the International House Box Office to be stamped.


International House Philadelphia

3701 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA  19104


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