Picture Of The Day: Why Everyone Sympathizes With Museum Thieves

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Picture Of The Day: Why Everyone Sympathizes With Museum Thieves
Picture Of The Day: Why Everyone Sympathizes With Museum Thieves

Video: Picture Of The Day: Why Everyone Sympathizes With Museum Thieves

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Щербаков - спецназ, панк-рок, любовь (English subs) 2023, January
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The story of a man who took him out of the Tretyakov Gallery in broad daylight a picture of Arkhip Kuindzhi in front of the amazed audience and museum curators, can serve as an excellent basis for a film script. Moreover, if such a picture is removed, it will become atypical for films about the theft of art objects, which have long since formed a separate subgenre, "art heist" - and shaped the image of museum thieves.

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Dmitry Kurkin

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A more mythologized image in modern cinema, perhaps, still needs to be looked for: the viewer remembers that it is not good to steal, instinctively understands that real art thieves do not always turn out to be charming and extraordinary fraudsters with outstanding strategic thinking, but they cannot do anything with themselves. Museum thieves are an excellent example of how mainstream cinema influences our perception of life. They are sympathized with as the last romantics, they are sympathized with as connoisseurs of beauty, they are admired as skillful psychological manipulators.

Interest in art seems to be giving out in a thief a piece of a specialist. The thieves of masterpieces themselves appear as works of art: just as a painting by Mondrian should be different from children's drawings from art lessons, so a criminal who steals a painting differs from ordinary burglars in pop culture. First of all, by their knowledge of the subject. Whether it's the title character of The Thomas Crown Affair (originally by Steve McQueen, in the 90s remake by then-staff James Bond, Pierce Brosnan) or the daughter of an art collector in How to Steal a Million (Audrey Hepburn), movie museum thieves must represent the caste of the select and sophisticated (which means that top actors and actresses of their time should play them).

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Among the real art kidnappers come across

and selfless art lovers like Stefan Breitweiser, who stole what he adored

Thus, films also support the image of high art as an area inaccessible to mere mortals: elite goods - elite criminals, or at least experts. Therefore, their motives are often dictated not so much by a greed for profit, but, for example, a noble impulse (Hepburn's heroine, Nicole Bonnet, saves her father's reputation), a passion for adventure (the bored millionaire Crown) or romantic interest ("Trap" with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery). And even if an ordinary petty swindler (Peter Ustinov in the film "Topkapi") suddenly gets into the team of thieves, it is only at the invitation of high-flying criminals.

To be fair, among the real art thieves, there really are unselfish art lovers like Stefan Braitwiser, who stole what he adored himself. For six years, he took from museums more than two hundred works with a total value of about one and a half billion dollars, but did not sell any of them (unfortunately, this did not help to save them: the thief's mother, upon learning of her son's arrest, destroyed part of his impressive collection).

However, Braitwieser thefts are not very similar to those complex multi-step operations with bypassing the latest security systems that are usually drawn in heist movies. And this is another fantastic trait taken for granted. It doesn't matter if the film is a coordinated team (Ocean's Twelve or John Woo's Born a Thief) or a lone specialist (Hudson Hawk), a theft from a museum, much less a private collection, should be framed as an action-packed adventure. where seconds and millimeters count - otherwise why such a film is needed at all. The scriptwriters, of course, are aware of this cliché and do not miss the opportunity to rework it into an original idea: in Theft in the Museum, three museum workers in a hurry come up with the scam of the century who do not want to part with their favorite masterpieces; in Danny Boyle's Trance, an auction house worker, after losing his memory, cannot rememberwhere he hid the stolen painting (although this is just the beginning of a much more complex plot).

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When manipulation is directed

to take money

and property

from an unpleasant billionaire, theft ceases to be just theft

Finally, the third - and, it seems, the closest to the truth - trope: art thieves as swindlers, using not so much clever gadgets or physical skills, as a subtle understanding of human psychology. In "Bearbug" the hero of Edward Norton, in order to get closer to the scepter of the Bourbon dynasty and not arouse suspicion, feigns disability. In Old Men-Robbers, a duet of elderly intellectuals performed by Yuri Nikulin and Yevgeny Yevstigneev takes Rembrandt's painting “for restoration” - and this explanation is enough for no one to ask questions about the disappearance of the painting. In one of the films by Giuseppe Tornatore … but by the way, we will do him a favor and do without spoilers.

And here the context change is effective again. Strictly speaking, no one likes swindlers who work on trust. But when psychological manipulations are aimed at taking money and property not from ordinary people, but from a museum, a state institution (stealing from a clumsy state is practically "privatization at home") or an unpleasant billionaire, theft ceases to be just theft - this is already a subtle trick, and sometimes the restoration of social justice, a version of a popular story in folklore about how a cunning soldier deceived a greedy landowner. And in this sense, the authors of films about charming swindlers who steal works of art are just playing along with public sentiment.

PHOTOS: Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Columbia TriStar Film

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