Adapted from a 1909 novel by Jack London yet set in a provocatively unspecified moment in Italy’s history, 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 dissatisfactions of working-class toil and bourgeois success lead to political awakening 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.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Martin Eden writer-director Pietro Marcello and star Luca Marinelli joined Film at Lincoln Center programmer Dan Sullivan for a Q&A on their epic Jack London adaptation. Watch Q&A now.
Luca Marinelli, Jessica Cressy, Vincenzo Nemolato, Carlo Cecchi
Jack London (novel), Maurizio Braucci (screenplay)