“The lying life of adults”: on Netflix the series based on the book by Elena Ferrante

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Welcome to lying world of adultswhere “love is opaque like the glass in the windows of toilets”, as Aunt Vittoria says to her niece Giovanna in search of truth in the midst of the hormonal intoxication of fifteen years. Adolescence is confusing, agitated like a sea that seems blue but instead, if you dive, it becomes cloudy with the sand at the bottom moved by the backwash. Look for the troubled life of the parentswho cease to be the idealized creatures of thechildhoodis part of thankless task of growth.

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Here then is the young and androgynous body of Joannapoorly grown and low-profit gymnasium in a Neapolitan high school of Vomerswim in the murky already in the first images of the Lying adult life Of Edward De Angelis.

The television series produced by Fandango, available on Netflix from January 4th and based on the novel of the same name by Elena Ferrantewho here also signs the screenplay with Laura Paolucci, Francesco Piccolo and the director.

netflix the lying life of adults

netflix the lying life of adults

I watched two episodes in preview and they looked great. They truly enrich the experience of those who know the novel and open up a world to those who may want to discover it later.

De Angelis said he imagined the series making “a natural gesture”. That of any reader who enters the narration from a door of his own, sees his own images, tells them with his own voice, gives a face to the characters, an aspect to the places, a personal meaning to the situations … This is basically the wonder to read. And for this here, in the television series, there is something less and something more.

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Journey to Ischia, where the destinies of the brilliant girls begin to separate

Journey to Ischia, where the destinies of the brilliant girls begin to separate

I’ll start from the least, from what the series happily subtracts from the novel. Because here the story arrives direct and dazzling, stripped of the literary echoes that belong to the book: pum!

There aunt Victoria, for instance. The character deleted from the family photos, the woman Giovanna is dangerously resembling, of which she is “making a face”the guide you choose precisely because it’s different and parents don’t like itin the series is not as excessive and somewhat grotesque as if it came out of the Cunto by Giambattista Basile. AND the fascination he exerts on his niece – who is very good on screen Giordana Marenco – does not have the witchcraft charm that in the novel evokes a tribute to the tricks of Lie and spell, Elsa Morante’s masterpiece. Here Vittoria, played by an amazing Valeria Golinolives on urban marginality, on his own passion and disobedience, and has no need to wear the royal and fairy-tale dress of the Neapolitan plebs.

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My night with Elena Ferrante

My night with Elena Ferrante

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Thus the visual story moves free from literary entanglements and also from movie quoteswhich we have seen present – ​​from Rosselini to Rosi, alla New wave – in the series taken from saga ofBrilliant friend by Elena Ferrante. If you have a debt, and it is declared, this Lying adult life he has it with the musicso important and used to contextualize the times and restore their emotional depth: the years of Liar life it’s the ninety. There wasn’t the euro yet but there were 99 Posse, Almamegretta, Massive Attack, music in social centers… The original soundtrack is by Enzo Avitabile.

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netflix the lying life of adults

netflix the lying life of adults

In the list of additions I instead put the choice, which in the series is explicit, of tell the two Naples, the bourgeois one of Vomero and the plebeian one of Aunt Vittoriaas if they were two masks. That of the comfortable city on the hill which, like Giovanna’s parents, wants to forget where it comes from and speaks “the dialect of quotation”, to put it in the words of Francis Small. And that of the lower city, which instead expresses itself with “an emotional language”, dark and harsh. Here it is the two Naples playrepresent themselves, play roles they pretend to believe.

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Elena Ferrante's books and her mysterious identity

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While in the novel the matter is much more ambiguous. Joan’s parents – in the series they are Pina Turco and Alexander Precious – do they really fear Aunt Vittoria’s wickedness? Really ashamed of her because she talks to the deadplays the accordion madly and started a family with the wife and children of her deceased lover? Or is it Giovanna’s gaze, a fifteen-year-old in search of the murky, that monstrously expands the margins of things? From time to time it seems to grasp a truth that then always escapes.

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The theatrics of the TV series

The theatrics of the TV series

And, if it is certain that Naples has been acting itself for centuries, here Edoardo De Angelis manages to look at it through the eyes of a fifteen year old. That is, in her “unbearable beauty”, something that makes her attractive even where she appears ugly and evil.

THE AUTHOR – Annamaria Guadagni lives between Rome and the sea of ​​Sperlonga. She is a cultural journalist, she has worked extensively in publishing, she collaborates with the newspaper The paper. He has edited collections of essays and published a novel, Last night (1998). For Garzanti he published The legend of Elena Ferrante.

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The article is in Italian

Tags: lying life adults Netflix series based book Elena Ferrante