Italian drama ‘Martin Eden’ breathes new life into Jack London

Nov 16, 2019 317

BY: Justin Chang

The American Cinematheque is presenting an early look at Pietro Marcello’s “Martin Eden,” a highlight of the fall festival circuit that will be released next year by Kino Lorber Films. A richly involving character portrait and a sprawling intellectual and aesthetic feast, “Martin Eden” transplants Jack London’s 1909 Oakland-set novel to Italy at an unspecified moment during the 20th century.

Luca Marinelli gives a star-making turn as London’s semi-autobiographical alter ego, an uneducated sailor who falls hard for the daughter of a wealthy Neapolitan family, sets out to become a writer and experiences a political awakening. Marcello’s film won the Platform competition award at the Toronto International Film Festival and earned a best actor prize for Marinelli at Venice. It will have its Los Angeles premiere Nov. 22 at the Aero Theatre, on a double bill with Edoardo De Angelis’ “The Vice of Hope.”

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