HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Martin Eden Lofty Ideals
Year: 2019
Director: Pietro Marcello
Stars: Luca Marinelli, Jessica Cressy, Vincenzo Nemolato, Marco Leonardi, Denise Sardisco, Carmen Pommella, Autilia Ranieri, Elisabetta Valgoi, Pietro Ragusa, Savino Paparella, Vincenza Modica, Giustiniano Alpi, Giuseppe Iuliano, Peppe Maggio, Maurizio Donadoni
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Martin Eden (Luca Marinelli) is a sailor who works on any ship that will have him, but he has always wanted something more, even if he is unsure what that may be. One morning, after a one night stand, he wakes up at the docks and sees a security guard about to beat up a young man who was trespassing, so he steps in and knocks the guard to the ground in an act of rescue. The young man is very grateful and asks Martin to go for lunch at his parents' home by way of thanks, and he accepts, but is not prepared for his sister, Elena (Jessica Cressy), who he falls in love with at first sight. Here is someone who embodies everything he wants out of life, money, class, education: if he romances her, it could all be within his grasp.

Martin Eden was a book by popular, early twentieth century writer Jack London, now best known for his adventure tales, but he also wrote this vaguely autobiographical effort about the struggles of a budding author to establish himself. And when he does, he realises that all this success is not what it was cracked up to be, so we already had a story that was fairly familiar by 2019 when adapter and director Pietro Marcello tackled it, rendering its distinctly American details into distinctly Italian ones, but also playing with the time frame. This meant we were never very certain whereabouts in the century we were, sometimes it seemed to be at the start and at others we were in the latter stages, as seventies pop on the soundtrack mixed with vintage socialist rallies.

Martin is not exactly a socialist, he is more of an individualist as he will tell anyone who will listen, and so wedded to his politics that we can tell he is headed for a fall since he is so inflexible in his outlook. This is a sure way to lose Elena for good if he's not careful, and the fact remains that despite a powerful performance, there was not much to engage about Marinelli's character, so we had a hard time understanding what attracted Elena to him, though when she starts having second thoughts it's a lot more believable. This was an issue running through the entire two hours plus running time, Martin was not great company, indeed he was a real bore, like being in the enforced company of a man determined to set the world to rights and doing so by insisting on telling you about his possibly never to be fulfilled plans in pitiless detail.

It was obvious what Marcello was trying, one of those epics from the last great decade of Italian cinema, the nineteen-seventies, when the likes of Federico Fellini, Lina Wertmuller and Bernardo Bertolucci were flexing their creative muscles and it seemed the sky was the limit as to what could be depicted on a movie screen in a mainstream and arthouse capacity alike. Yet there was a mood of daring to those works that still makes them controversial to this day, and you could not envisage much controversy stirred up by Martin Eden, mainly because connecting with political diatribes was not something many audiences could be bothered with anymore. You may regret that loss, you may not, but here was a film that could make up your mind as its protagonist comes to doubt the tenets of his outlook, that it was no great loss few directors were crafting projects where characters gave serious-minded speeches about the way of the world and how they believed it should be run, according to their personal rules. Stylistically it was attractive, shot on Super 16mm and interspersed with documentary clips from across the century, but it was difficult to sustain interest.

[Click here to watch on MUBI.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 391 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: