It is a film whose singularity announces the advent of a great filmmaker. Pietro Marcello, 43 years old, studied fine arts and documentary, full of cinematographic culture, claims a total formal freedom, unpublished since the heyday of Italian cinema, with the notable exception of Alice Rohrwacher.
Martin Eden, it's the cult novel by Jack London, published in 1909, novel of learning, in which a young and handsome man, sailor of the bottom-bottoms of the American society, meets by chance a well-off and cultured family; which will spark his vocation as a self-taught writer.
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Pietro Marcello adapts this story in a Naples of the twentieth century, impossible to date: it mixes with talent references to the pre-war as the 60s or the fate of the workers who revolt to the more recent migrants. One is as in his imagination, the director reconstructs eras, borrows images from archives, old films, and serves his character perfectly: a pure young man, become a class defector, and who will pay a high price. The wild beauty of the comedian, Luca Marinelli, magnetizes the character and Pietro Marcello hypnotizes the audience.
The director Igort adapts himself his graphic novel composed in 2002, and global success. In a nocturnal and rainy Naples, in the mid-seventies when, supposedly, the mafia still had a code of honor, Peppino, ex-hitman, meticulous and devoid of all scruple, sees his life and his certainties switch when his son, who carries on the same job, is shot like a pigeon.
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The recurrent and choreographed use of firearms is only a pretext to evoke universal themes such as father-son relations, friendship, treason, passing time. The film borrows briskly from the graphic novel his cartoony strength and Toni Servilo, imperial professional killer, himself Neapolitan, evokes his city as a character in the film.