Movie: Ferrante Fever

This is showing at the moment in Melbourne as part of the Italian Film Festival. It is a documentary about the Elena Ferrante phenomenon, exploring the universal popularity of her books and contextualizing the Neapolitan novels amongst Ferrante’s other works. It doesn’t necessarily dwell on who the author is, but instead considers the effect of having an invisible and unknown author, both on readers and the book marketing industry.  The documentary features several well-known talking heads, most particularly Elizabeth Strout and Jonathan Franzen for Western readers and translator Ann Goldstein, intercut with animations and small film clips. It has subtitles.

I also saw Nonnas on the Run, one of two ‘Nonna’ films being shown as part of the Italian Film Festival. It’s a bit of a romp with two ladies-of-a-certain-age breaking out of their aged-care hostel. It teeters on the edge of laughter and a stab of sorrow, which is a good thing.

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