Video & On Demand - Martin Eden (Online and Disc)
The sailor, Martin Eden (Luca Marinelli), descends from Naples, working class, but his fate is changed forever when he defends a young boy from a beating by a security guard on the docks. The boy repays him for his kindness by inviting him into his bourgeois home, and it is there that Eden meets Elena (Jessica Cressy), the daughter of an upper-crust industrial family. It is love at first sight for Eden. He resolves to become an accomplished writer to elevate himself to the family’s social standing and eventually marry her. He proves himself quickly as an autodidact, but grapples with social politics. His pursuit of his individual success is in conflict with his humble origins and the proletariat’s cause. Left-wing journalist, Russ Brissenden (Carlo Cecchi), guides him deeper into socialist circles, resulting not only in a political reawakening and destructive anxiety, but also to a severing with Elena and her elite world.
Venice International Film Festival World Premiere 2019 (Official Competition)
Venice International Film Festival Winner – Best Actor, Luca Marinelli
Toronto International Film Festival Winner – Platform Prize
129 min/Italy/France/Italian with English subtitles/2019/Cert. 15
Blu-ray or DVD available from Amazon
Available online to rent or download on
Available to rent on
Curzon Home Cinema
Born in Caserta on July 2, 1976, Pietro Marcello studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti and was one of the founders of the DAMM community centre in the Montesanto district of Naples. In 2007, Pietro’s Crossing the Line was screened in the Orizzonti section of the 64th Venice International Film Festival. In 2009, he directed his first feature, The Mouth of the Wolf, winner of the 27th Turin Film Festival, the Caligari and Teddy prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival and the David di Donatello and Nastro d’Argento awards for best documentary. In 2011, he directed The Silence of Pelesjan, which was presented at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. In 2015, he directed Lost and Beautiful, which was screened in competition at the Locarno Festival and took home the Goteborg Film Festival’s Bergman Award and the Nastro d’Argento for Best Documentary. Pietro Marcello’s latest feature, Martin Eden, screened in competition at the 76th Venice Film Festival and Luva Marinelli received the award for Best Actor.
2019: Martin Eden
2015: Lost and Beautiful (Bella E Perduta)
2014: L’umile Italia (Short)
2011: The Silence of Pelešjan (Il Silenzio di Pelešjan)
2009: The Mouth of The Wolf (La Bocca del Lupo) (Documentary)
2007: Crossing the Line (Il Passaggio della Linea) (Documentary)
2005: La baracca (Short)
2004: Il cantiere (Short)
2003: Scampia (Short)
2003: Carta (Short)
|Martin Eden||LUCA MARINELLI|
|Russ Brissenden||CARLO CECCHI|
|Screenplay||MAURIZIO BRAUCCI, PIETRO MARCELLO|
|Editors||ALINE HERVE, FABRIZIO FEDERICO|
|Cinematographer||FRANCESCO DI GIACOMO, ALESSANDRO ABATE|
|Music||MARCO MESSINA E SACHA RICCI (ERA)|
|Sound Editor||STEFANO GROSSO|
|Executive Producers||DARIO ZONTA, ALESSIO LAZZARESCHI|
|Co-Production Companies||SHELLAC SUD, MATCH FACTORY PRODUCTIONS|
|In Co-Production with||BAYERISCHER RUNDFUNK|
|In association with||ARTE|
|Supported by||MIBAC - DIREZIONE GENERALE CINEMA|
|FILM COMISSION REGIONE CAMPANIA|
|REGIONE LAZIO - FONDO REGIONALE PER|
|II CINEMA E L'AUDIOVISIVO|
|L'AIDE AUX CINEMAS DU MONDE|
|CENTRE NATIONAL DU CINEMA|
|ET DE L'IMAGE ANIMEE - INSTITUT FRANCAIS|
|FONDO BILATERALE PER LO SVILUPPO DI OPERE CINEMATOGRAFICHE|
|DI OPERE CINEMATOGRAFICHE|
|ITALO-FRANCESI MIBAC - CNC|
|THE REGION SUD PROVENCE ALPES COTE D'AZUR|
|In participation with||CON CNC
129 min/Italy/ France/Italian with English subtitles/2019/1.85:1/5.1
Film of the Week
‘Jack London’s thrilling tale of hollow success…’
'The terrible loneliness of success is the subject of this absorbing movie, equal in some strange way to the loneliness of failure… Martin Eden is a sad story of a sad man who lacks the capacity for happiness and who is astonished to find that artistic success is as compromised as any other kind. But there is a kind of thrill in tracing his progress from rags to riches to annihilation.'
Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN
'A daring spin on history and the power, or otherwise, of the individual: a puzzzle that is well worth trying to solve.'
'Pietro Marcelo's heady, romantic spin on the story of sparkling-eyed sailor Martin Eden...in this bold Italian take on Jack London's 1909 novel....'
Dave Calhoun, TIME OUT
'...richly and imaginatively interpreted...'ravishly shot drama'
'Luca Marinelli, cast as a true-blue matinee idol as the tortured hero: in an extraordinary performance that matches brute physicality to soulful interior yearning...Martin's inner ideological battles are written in fine creases and twitches across his sculpted face.'
Guy Lodge, FILM OF THE WEEK
'Jack London's novel ...is artfully updated.'
'Luca Marinella is magnetic in the title role.'
Simran Hans, THE OBSERVER
‘Sumptuous costume adaption of the 1909 novel by US writer Jack London comes from the last place you’d expect: the shores of the Italian avant-garde.’
‘Ample play with anachronism makes Martin Eden into a compendium of Italian film history, variously channelling Visconti, Bertolucci and Pasolini.’
‘Sometimes elusive but always powerful, this is a work of passionate, polemical beauty from a director who is a genuine original.'
Jonathan Romney, UNCUT
LITTLE WHITE LIES RECOMMENDS
‘The Lost and Beautiful director adapts Jack London as a dramatic Italian heavyweight.’
‘Jack London’s semi-autobiographical novel gets a masterful Italian makeover, courtesy of director Pietro Marcello.’
'An epic, vital portrait of ideological ambition and decay.'
‘Beguilling opening sequence.'
‘It’s hard to forget the emotional scars left behind by Luca Marinelli’s titanic performance.’
Glen Heath, LITTLE WHITE LIES
'As a kind of postmodern spin on a Visconti-type melodrama, the film is something to see.'
'Marcello uses a plethora of fascinating archive footage of times past as montages...'
'This is cinematic fine art. Michelangelo used the figures of quarry workers as models for sculptures. Marcello seeks to do the same.'
Dan Carrier, ISLINGTON TRIBUTEN and CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL
'Audacious and thrilling.'
'An ingenious adaptation of the Jack London novel.'
'The entirety of the 20th century — its promises, illusions and traumas — sweeps through the audacious and thrilling “Martin Eden".'
The true miracle of this film is how Marcello translates both London’s scabrous tone and his lush, character-revealing prose into pure cinema.'
Manohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES<
'In theme and appearance, Martin Eden straddles such Italian cornerstones as De Sica's Bicycle Thieves and Bertolucci's The Conformist. It's a sweep of cinematic history earned by the film's aspirations. No film could replicate the tragic weight of London's work, but this comes awfully close.'
Tara Brady, THE IRISH TIMES
'A Cinematic Knockout'
'Pietro Marcello’s adaptation of Jack London’s 1909 novel is the sort of movie that restores your faith in an art form — or, at the very least, in the craft of turning a bygone era’s paragraphs on a page into an urgent, promo mix of sound and vision.'
'It feels like some lost Italian masterpiece from the 1970s unearthed from a locked vault after decades of gathering dust and slotted into the middle of a late De Sica/mid-period Francesco Rosi triple feature.'
David Fear, ROLLING STONE
'Spellbinding. One of the best films of the last decade.'
SIGHT & SOUND
'An adaption that is both scrupulously faithful and wildly, almost insanely inventive. When I first saw the movie…I almost lost my mind.’
A.O.Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES
'Old-school cinematic soul food – a sweepingly stylish and smart Italian coming-of-age drama that feels as if it could have been made 60 years ago, during the heyday of Visconti.'
Ty Burr, BOSTON GLOBE
'Vibrant and passionate. A dazzling showcase for Luca Marinelli. It’s as if the whole 20th century had been distilled, or scrambled, into an eternal, mercurial now.'
Justin Chang, LOS ANGELES TIMES
'A love letter to a century of Italian cinema. Pietro Marcello's sweeping historial Italian epic "Martin Eden" is a whole lot of movie. It possesses a weight and heft, both cinematically and philosophically, that make it a rare treat.'
'Luca Marinelli's performance in the title role is an outstanding star turn for the Italian actor.'
'Shot in an achingly gorgeous rich and grainy 16 mm that captures shadows and texture you can practically chew on, a sensuous luxury in this digital age. 'In every way a reflection of its protagonist, “Martin Eden” strives for greatness, and in that striving, achieves it.'
Katie Walsh, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
'Martin Eden Might Be the Best Film of the Year.'
'The film is a masterpiece, so you should see it any way you can.
'Pietro Marcello’s agonizingly beautiful Martin Eden.'
'Absolutely wiped the floor with me.'
'Watch the good movies, not the bad movies.'
Bilge, Ebiri, VULTURE
'In a cooped-up age, the great escapes and far-off horizons of Jack London’s fiction feel resonant.'
'As on the page, the hero is Martin Eden. He first went to sea at the age of eleven, and we sense that he’s consumed a large slice of the world before the tale begins. Onscreen, played with bullish vigor by Luca Marinelli, he’s a handsome devil, though his looks don’t weather well. More hungry than happy, he is a creature of salty appetites, his entrance into the movie marked by sex and violence. On dry land, he is all at sea.'
Anthony Lane, THE NEW YORKER
'A movie that arrives like a bolt out of the blue, bursting with ideas, not unlike its hero.'
J. Hoberman, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
'Martin Eden is a beautifully realised period drama. Pietro Marcello's film is full of life. Marinelli is superb.'
'Marcello's vision is vintage and gorgeous. A beautiful picture and a stunning central performance.'
UK FILM REVIEW
'Marinelli is magnetic, handsome in the manner of a classic Hollywood star.'
THE MOVIE WAFFLER
'An Enrapturing Italian Saga'
'A film like “Martin Eden” is a refreshing tonic in its tones, style and maturity. It is poetic and relatable, with people who feel true to life. Marcello is not just telling the story of a writer, but a story about ideas and how they can change us. There is a scene of Martin lounging by the sea, while in the background Mussolini’s Black Shirts begin to roam. Ideas are not just words, they can come powerfully, and dangerously, to life.'
'An Italian cinematic reverie, where personal drama and politics collide.'
Alci Rengifo, ENTERTAINMENT VOICE
'An artful odyssey.'
SHADOWS ON THE WALL
'Pietro Marcello’s latest Is Luminous Cinema…'
'Luca Marinelli is A Star In The Making'
'Marcello brilliantly captures the circular nature of the perpetual expanse between the working class and the elite in the dense characterization of his subjects. The incredible depth of character, theme and tone, sweeping viewers across a wide range of thought and emotion. The quixotic, frequently angry and even epic tale of “Martin Eden” is the tale of artistic comeuppance, a rags-to-riches rise that’s somewhat autobiographical for Marcello, a self-taught filmmaker in his own right.'
Luke Hicks, THE PLAYLIST
'Jack London's 1909 novel is transported from California to Naples in Pietro Marcello's full-blooded, ambitious film adaptation.'
Imogen Sara Smith, FILM COMMENT
'With the unexpected scope and audacity of his latest, Marcello proves that he has no intention of resting on his laurels.'
'Recently unveiled in competition at Venice, the Italian filmmaker’s fifth feature, Martin Eden, is momentous in ways that many Marcello enthusiasts may not expect: distinctly big, dramatic, and affecting, it confirms Marcello’s burgeoning talents and marks the belated arrival of a singular artist to the international art-house stage. More impressively, it does so without sacrificing the beauty, rigour, and intelligence that has built Marcello’s reputation as one of European cinema’s foremost fusionists.'
Jordan Cronk, CINEMA SCOPE
'Luca Marinelli’s (The Old Guard) charismatic, gradually darkening performance beat Joaquin Phoenix to 'Best Actor' at last year’s Venice Film Festival; ironic, as Pietro Marcello’s film is practically an arthouse Joker. Poverty, politics and poetry drive the titular anti-hero, a self-taught writer determined to overcome the odds, only to find his own demons harder to conquer... timely parable of curdled disaffection.'
Simon Kinnear, TOTAL FILM
'Marcello has crafted a visual delight and Marinelli brilliantly brings a complex character with a captivating arc to life.'
Brent Goldman, FILM INQUIRY
'Martin Eden does what few artists or commentators care to do: attempt to grasp, rather than capitalize on, the fraught humanity and circumstances that lead to self-defeating political ideologies.'
Kevin Ritchie, NOW Toronto
''Poetic Mastery and an Enigmatic Performance…the film as a whole is beautiful to look at and unique in its artistry of bringing archival old footage into an already gorgeous movie.'
'Unquestionably arthouse, Marcello's cinematic language swells with a gritty and melancholic look into the plight of the dreamer.'
'Martin Eden is a movie worth seeing on the big screen as it's both beautifully crafted and features wonderful performances.'
Emily Kubincanek, FILM SCHOOL REJECTS