Michelangelo on the big screen: Ecstasy and Acedia


ANALYSIS – Shot in Italy by Andreï Konchalovsky, Michelangelo aims and achieves hyperrealism, but paradoxically tells us less about man than his Hollywood predecessor, Ecstasy and Agony, by Carol Reed.

Despite the choice of a very Hollywood-style Charlton Heston in the role of Michelangelo, The Ecstasy and the Agony by Carol Reed offers a more complete portrait of the artist than that of Andreï Konchalovsky.
Despite the choice of a very Hollywood-style Charlton Heston in the role of Michelangelo, Ecstasy and Agony by Carol Reed offers a more complete portrait of the artist than that of Andreï Konchalovsky. © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / Christophel Corporation Collection / DR

This article is taken from the new Figaro Hors-Série: “Michel-Ange le corps et cœur”, 164 pages, € 12.90, available and on the Figaro Store.

He goes alone, muttering under his shaggy beard, on the road that winds between the cypresses of a landscape more Tuscan than life. For a moment, it feels like a new movie about Poverello of Assisi, who also dragged his gaiters in this setting close to his native Umbria. And then we understand that it is in fact the tormented genius of the Renaissance who is the subject of the film by Andrei Konchalovsky, the author of The Madhouse (2002), Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, or, more recently, Postman’s sleepless nights (2014) and Paradise (2016), which earned him the Silver Lion for Best Director.

Under the direction of Russian director Andreï Konchalovsky, Alberto Testone plays a Michelangelo larger than life. UFO Distribution

Shot in Italy, his Michelangelo (original title: Il peccato, “Sin”) unfolds the artist’s life since 1512, the year he finished painting the vault of the Sistine ordered by Julius II, until 1520, when he harnessed himself to the tombs

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