Many great Italian films are based on books that were written or translated into English; we’re beginning with Stephen Amidon’s Human Capital.
Join our group and decide for yourselves which is better, the book or the movie. Feel free to add books that you like.
Let’s take a look at:
Il Capitale Umano – Human Capital
STREAM THE MOVIE Human Capital (English Subtitled)
READ THE BOOK Human Capital: A Novel
Stephen Amidon is an American author and film critic who grew up on the east coast. His novel Human Capital was chosen by Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post as one of the five best works of fiction of 2004 and then the film adaptation of Human Capital, Il Capitale Umano directed by Paolo Virzì and opened to rave reviews in Italy in January 2014. It premiered in New York at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival where Valeria Bruni Tedeschi won best actress for her performance.
Both the book and the movie are a mystery that involves two families that become intertwined through ambition, greed, and money, and how everything changes when a guy is killed while riding his bike.
I asked Amidon about his book, about Americans, ending up on screen as a story about Italians. I’m sure it works because it’s such a universal theme, but I wondered if he had any thoughts about how his story might have changed when Italians got ahold of it, for the good or for the bad. Did it take on a new “Italian” life, in that sense?
“I must say I was a little apprehensive about how the story would change in an Italian setting, but was surprised (and gratified) by how similar Paolo Virzi’s version is to my novel. As I have joked before, the characters are the same – they are just better looking! I think the similarity is due, as you say, to the universality of the story’s themes, though I also think that Italy is right now going through a lot of the things America was experiencing when I wrote the book in the early 2000s: a new wave of wealthy people, a squeezed middle class, a generation of bewildered youth.”
Other suggestions are Hungry Hearts by author Marco Franzoso , Don’t Move by and Twice Born by Margaret Mazzantini and The Dinner by Herman Kocch, but there are many more and we’ll be talking about all of them.