Directed by Pietro Marcello
Set in a provocatively unspecified moment in Italy’s history yet adapted from a 1909 novel by American author Jack London, Martin Eden is a passionate and enthralling narrative fresco in the tradition of the great Italian classics. Martin (played by the marvelously committed Luca Marinelli) is a self-taught proletarian with artistic aspirations who hopes that his dreams of becoming a writer will help him rise above his station and marry a wealthy young university student (Jessica Cressy). The twinned dissatisfactions of working-class toil and bourgeois success lead to political reawakening and destructive anxiety in this enveloping, superbly mounted bildungsroman.
“An absolute blast. Includes documentary footage, wealthy decadence, left-wing politics, angry speeches (in Italian!), beautiful women, square-jawed men, quotations from Baudelaire and the heroic deployment of manual typewriters, hand-rolled cigarettes, ascots and Volvo sedans. Everything I love in movies, more or less."
“One of the most epic-feeling Italian movies in years, a throwback to ’70s-era big-canvas statements. Lead actor Luca Marinelli, rousing in every scene, comes within hailing distance of the young Robert De Niro.”
“A kaleidoscopic historical fantasia that seems possessed by the ghosts of Italian cinema.”
“A spectacular performance. Marinelli is a force of nature in every scene and doesn’t play Eden so much as inhabit him.”
“This could be the international break-out of the season."
“Momentous. Distinctly big, dramatic, and affecting, Martin Eden confirms Marcello’s burgeoning talents without sacrificing the beauty, rigor, and intelligence that has built Marcello’s reputation as one of European cinema’s foremost fusionists. Marcello’s decade-long evolution from idiosyncratic film essayist to grand narrative storyteller represents one of the most significant artistic flowerings in contemporary cinema.”
“A wonderful mix of 19th-century Romanticism and 20th-century neorealism."
"An outstanding performance from Luca Marinelli as lead, pouring rage and energy into a timeless anti-hero."
Platform Award - 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
Coppa Volpi award for Best Actor (Luca Marinelli) – Venice Film Festival
Official Selection – New York Film Festival
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