• Flash Competition



Luca Ferri,

Morgan Menegazzo,

Mariachiara Pernisa

The three filmmakers Ferri, Menegazzi and Pernisa visit Franco Piavoli in his garden so that he, at the age of 90, can tell them about his next project. In the story that emerges, Piavoli, the iconic director of independent Italian films, takes us by the hand and leads us to explore his Earthly Paradise. Piavoli becomes Adam; he walks with Eve towards a peak to contemplate and understand infinity, but it’s in the detours along the way, in the pauses, that heaven is revealed to them, in the pleasure of the senses, a shared state of grace. This imaginary journey is also biographical, the dream deeply rooted in the material and everyday dimension; an invitation to the fulfilment of presence, the intensity of experience and the relationship with the world.
With his monologue addressed to his companion Silvia, Piavoli brings the filmmakers and the audience to a state verging on hypnosis. As his storytelling allows us to rediscover the enchantment of the world, the tenses merge: paradise is simultaneously the memory of the past, the immediate present of sensation and tending towards imagination and discovery.
The restrictive approach suggested by the filmmakers – two reels of Super 8 film one after the other – accentuates this dreamlike state. When the images go dark, it’s Piavoli’s voice that takes us into the depths of intimacy. Fleetingly, we have the feeling that an entire life is being shown to us.

Margot Mecca

“Perduto Paradiso in due rulli” is a touching portrait of a cult filmmaker for the Italian independent scene: what is your relationship with Franco Piavoli and his cinema?

Our relationship with Franco’s cinema is born on a basis of respect and gratitude despite the fact that our paths are very different and far from his poetics. We recognize its value, uniqueness and durability over time.

How did you approach him and what was your proposal to him, before starting to shoot?

We have been seeing Franco for many years, we are friends. The proposal came naturally when one afternoon he told us about the film he would like to make. The story convinced us to such an extent that we returned to him a few months later with only two super 8 reels to let him tell us about his “paradise” again. Obviously, he didn’t meet our expectations and told us another unexpected and fulminant variation.

You chose to work with simple but constraining rules: only two rolls of film, but the sound recording exceeds what the camera sees. Can you explain to us the reasons behind this decision?

We arrived in Pozzolengo with only two reels and a vague memory of Franco’s story. We set ourselves a limit of two reels regardless of the length of the subject. The space that exists in the change of reels, the black and the absence of images are constituent parts of a cinematographic alphabet that does not seek to exhaust itself, only in the story.

Piavoli invites the spectator (and the filmmakers) into a suggesting and enchanting trip towards his own paradise:  his voice seems to hypnotize us to take us into his inner world. How did you work with the protagonist’s bewitching power? 

In the structure of the film, the speech’s power progressively loses its communicative contours, evoking images in counterpoint to the sound score. Piavoli’s poetic world, in fact, doesn’t want to appear real, but mediated above all by his lyrical imagination.

Interview by Margot Mecca

  • Flash Competition

Technical sheet

Italy / 2023 / 7’

Cast: Franco Piavoli

Production: Andrea Zanoli (Lab 80 film)