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When the deadline is on

Sin (2019)
Sin
biographical, drama, historical
Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
Cast: Alberto Testone, Orso Maria Gerrini, Massimo De Frankovic, Glen Blackhall, Jacob Dil
Premiere: November 14, 2019
Michelangelo Buonarotti (Alberto Testone) can’t finish the vault of the great Sistine Chapel: he once again overdue the deadline under the pretext that the work is “unfinished”, because there is no limit to perfection. The Pope, however, thinks differently and calls Michelangelo’s creation the best that has appeared in the entire history of Christian culture, and himself – only as “divine.” Having left the chapel, Michelangelo returns to other orders, but everywhere he encounters the same problems: timing, lack of money, marble, betrayal of students and colleagues, in general, worldly concerns that prevent him from finding fine excellence.

Shot from the film “Sin”
Cosmopolitan director Andrei Konchalovsky walked, perhaps the most curious way out of all Russian filmmakers, geographically and ideologically. From collaborating with another great Andrei, Tarkovsky, and subtle studies of the restless Russian soul (first in the chamber History Asya Klyachina, then in the rural epic Sibiriada) to Hollywood genre films (Runaway Train, Tango and Cash “), From him – back to the village (” Ryaba Kurochka “), the rebellious provinces (” House of Fools “) and the hostile urban jungle (” Gloss “). Now, in the ninth decade, Konchalovsky suddenly raised his eyes from the Russian chthony and turned them somewhere upwards – for two films in a row the director has been conducting a dialogue only with the Lord God himself. He chooses the names of the works corresponding: monosyllabic, short, but clearly alluding to the evangelical scope, if not actions, then thoughts. In 2016, there was “Paradise”, now – “Sin.”

Shot from the film “Sin”
More precisely, the sacred theme was already traced in The White Nights of the Postman Aleksey Tryapitsyn, which they rightly consider to be the director’s return to the poetry of the villages and the “Little Russian Man”. There, the hero, a wonderful rural peasant, sometimes woke up at night from a strange vision – a dark cat, who came from somewhere and clearly had an infernal nature. In Paradise, Konchalovsky brought out a history of global trauma through confessions of motley heroes – a Russian aristocrat, an ambitious Nazi and a cowardly French collaborator, whose lives were bizarrely intertwined, then again diverged. Moreover, “confession” is not a form of speech: the characters really talked about life directly from purgatory, and in the final the divine voice even answered them. In “Sin,” Konchalovsky goes even further. He is studying relations with God not at the level of tiny, ground with the history of fate, but through the life of the “divine” Michelangelo, one of the main authors of the Renaissance.

Shot from the film “Sin”
He addresses the same topic of confrontation between the exalted Author and dirty reality, as in Andrei Rublev, to which Konchalovsky wrote the script half a century ago. But if Rublev was a troubled film, a large and complex film, then Sin is almost its opposite. This is a movie where even the most disturbing scenes were shot remotely, where Michelangelo’s throwings, no matter how chaotic they were, were fixed in a state of almost cosmic order. Konchalovsky looks at his hero from an obvious historical distance, as if knowing that all his hardships of the artist will not break, but only become the beginning of a new timeless masterpiece. The camera view here – as it was in Paradise – is the optics of the Almighty himself, for which profane vanity cannot be important a priori. Hence the 4: 3 screen format, framing the frame in the proportions of the “golden section” – a mathematical ratio that Renaissance artists considered the expression of the divine essence of the world order.

Shot from the film “Sin”
And from here comes the almost condescending tone with which Konchalovsky writes out a catalog of Michelangelian adversities, probably familiar, corrected for the era, by many popular authors. Financial problems, relations with an addictive family, attempts to sit on two thorny chairs during political and cultural alterations – vanity of vanities, in the midst of which the great artist is trying to comprehend his purpose, to grasp reality by the hem of antique mantle. With a cinematic coldness, Konchalovsky immediately dismisses the idea that, when shooting Sin, he identifies himself with Michelangelo – such a suspicion always arises when a great author makes a movie about an even bigger author. In fact, he rather puts himself in the place of the demiurge, Creator, the divine camera lens. Which, of course, is very presumptuous, but also absolutely clear. When else to speak with God on equal terms, if not on the ninth ten of earthly life?

However, no discount on age allows you to let go of “Sin” his numerous, hmm, sins. Sacred sacred, but the distance taken by the director cancels the slightest chance of emotional inclusion – we, mere mortals, are always necessary. Yes, “Sin” in every possible way mimics the work of the Renaissance, not only by the composition of the frame, but also by the stubborn

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