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Voices in Time

Executive producer, Gianna Bellavia.

Executive producer, Gianna Bellavia.

Directed, written, edited by Franco Piavoli. Camera, sound, Piavoli; music, Franco Ghigini, Alfredo Catalini, Johann Pachelbel; artistic collaborator, Neria Poli. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Italian Panorama), Sept. 3, 1996. Running time: 86 MIN.

Maverick filmmaker Franco Piavoli’s “Voices in Time” is a poetic vision of life in a picturesque Italo village. Sans dialogue, but lyrically filmed and recorded by the director, pic has its passionate admirers on the Italo scene but seems unlikely to travel.

The little town of Castellaro was chosen for a film that spans the four seasons and homes in on the populace at different stages of their lives. Early scenes, shot in springtime, focus on children; next come teenagers, young adults , the middle-aged and, with the coming of winter, the elderly.

There are no dramatic surprises here, just a gentle depiction of a serene backwater where seemingly there are no problems, and where life goes on much as it’s always done. Piavoli’s camera observes the games of children, the erotic mating rituals of adolescents, the lives of young marrieds, and finally the wizened faces of the aged who’ve seen it all and now observe the younger generations through wistful eyes.

It’s hard to imagine that this decent but utterly unremarkable document will evoke any interest outside Italy, though the director’s lyrical, undoubtedly sincere vision fills the screen with a placid beauty.

Voices in Time

Production: A Mikado Film release of a Zefiro Film/Immaginazione production, in collaboration with RAI Uno. Produced by Franco Piavoli, Laura Cafiero, Giannandrea Pecorelli.

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