It seems Sin (aka Il Peccato) the latest project from Russian auteur Andrey Konchalovsky, got left out in the cold come the end of 2018. Despite his considerable track record, which includes major awards out of Cannes and Berlin from a writer/director who worked alongside Tarkovsky (having penned the iconic Andrei Rublev), Konchalovsky didn’t up presenting his latest, a biopic on Michelangelo Buonarroti at Venice 2018 as had been predicted despite being a Russian-Italian co-production (however, part of the film was screened for Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at a recent St. Petersburg Cultural Forum). Produced by Konchalovsky, Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov and Elda Ferri through his film foundation along with Italy’s Rai Cinema and the Rome based production company Jean Vigo, theater actor Alberto Testone stars as the Renaissance artist. Konchalovsky reteams with his DP Aleksandr Simonov and co-stars Umberto Orsini and the formidable Julia Vysotskaya, who regularly appears in Konchalovsky’s recent cinema, including the underrated Paradise (2016).
Stepping out of the shadows of Tarkovsky (he’s also the older brother of Nikhita Mikhalkov), Konchalovsky began making a name for himself in Venice, where he has thus far competed five times (First Teacher, 1966; Maria’s Lovers, 1984; House of Fools, 2002; The Postman’s White Nights, 2014; Paradise, 2016), winning the Grand Jury Special Prize in 2002 and Best Director in both 2014 and 2016. He’s competed four times at Cannes, most famously for 1979’s Siberia, which won the Grand Prize of the Jury, returning in 1986 with Runaway Train (which brought Eric Roberts to an Oscar nod), Shy People in 1987 (winning Barbara Hershey Best Actress at Cannes) and in 1994 with Assia and the Hen with the Golden Eggs. Konchalovsky has competed once in Berlin, in the 1992 competition with The Inner Circle, which served as his return to European filmmaking after exiting Hollywood.
Gist: Co-written with his usual co-writer Elena Kiseleva, Sin concerns Buonarotti’s concerns as an artist whilst suffering underneath the pressure of his patrons.
Release Date/Prediction: Shot in Italy in late 2017, Sin was presumed to be a Venice shoe-in considering the director’s recent victories on the Lido. However, it would appear that Konchalovsky would likely compete in Berlin 2019 for his first time in nearly thirty years. If not, we expect a local theatrical release in Russia, which means the film will have difficulty courting a US distributor.