A titan of Russian cinema, Andrey Konchalovsky famously cut his teeth as a writer for Tarkovsky (Ivan’s Childhood; Andrei Rublev) before breaking out into his own auteurdom, initially scoring a great success with a 1971 adaptation of Uncle Vanya. He became a Cannes laureate in 1979 with his Grand Jury Prize Winner Siberiade, and then moved to Hollywood with 1984’s Maria’s Lovers, 1985’s Runaway Train (which scored Eric Roberts an Oscar nod), 1987’s Shy People (which won Barbara Hershey one of her Best Actress prizes at Cannes), 1989’s Homer & Eddie, and the ill-fated Kurt Russell/Sylvester Stallone actioner Tango & Cash (1991). After retreating to his native Russia, Konchalovsky has remained a vibrant, if less frequent presence, often winning awards at the Venice Film Festival, including a Grand Jury Prize for House of Fools in 2002, and a two-time winner of the Silver Lion (The Postman’s White Nights, 2014; Paradise, 2016). Following one of his most searing efforts to date with Holocaust drama Paradise, (read ★★★★ review) Konchalovsky had announced a portrait of Slovakian politician Alexander Dubcek with The Human Face (aka Rules of the Game), a Czech reformist of the communist regime. As funding was coming together for the project, it seems Konchalovsky instead headed to Italy to film a biopic on sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti starring Alberto Testone and Umberto Orsini (of Visconti’s The Damned and Ludwig).
Release Date/Prediction: Konchalovsky last appeared at Cannes with the 1994 comedy Assia and the Hen with the Golden Eggs, and except for 2007’s Gloss has continually bowed out of Venice. Il Peccato may be eyed for Cannes, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this turn up either before in Berlin (where Konchalovsky last appeared in 1992 with The Inner Circle) or, more likely, later next year in Venice.