INXS film Original Sin intrigues, but fails to mystify
Directed by Amy Tinkham and starring actress/dancer Autumn Miller, Original Sin – The 7 Sins featuring the songs and music of INXS is an interesting short film, although not without its flaws.
“Original Sin is a modern-day love story about a broken-hearted heroine and her journey through the seven sins and the quest towards the virtue of Hope. The music of the legendary global rock band INXS seamlessly accompanies the film, and ultimately, the young heroine finds true love while the world heals with her.”
Drawing mainly from Kick, INXS’ multiplatinum 1987 album, the songs chosen for Original Sin also include a Michael Hutchence cover of Eric Burdon and War’s “Spill the Wine,” as well as collaboration between trip-hop artist Tricky and INXS.
Each segment is soundtracked by different INXS songs–both originals and covers–and features a unique visual style which sets each apart. Utilizing a muted color palette which draws from every hue in the rainbow, Tinkham’s film looks like a high-concept music video, which is what it essentially is at its heart. The music is mixed in such a way that it flows like a really solid club mix of reinterpreted music from the influential and popular Australian band, albeit at a quieter pace, leaning toward the morose.
The musical mix pairs well with what’s unfolding onscreen, although as a stand-alone collection, the songs are a bit weak. I found myself rather bored when trying to listen to the music on its own, given that many of the covers are of the “slowed-down upbeat pop song” variety, but in the context of Original Sin, they’re absolutely intense, especially Vimala’s cover of the band’s early single, “Don’t Change,” which introduces the Lust segment.
The seven deadly sins are all on display here, and it’s as if Miller’s spurned woman is going through her own person version of Dante’s Inferno, guided by a character portrayed by Fabrice Calmels. A nod to The Wicker Man during the Lust segment, which sees Miller and Trevor Jackson pining for one another on opposite sides of a wall is particularly effective, bringing to mind as it does Britt Ecklund attempted seduction of Edward Woodward in the Green Man Inn.
While Tinkham has a definite visual style and uses the physicality of Miller and her co-stars Jackson and Calmels to great effect, the major flaw of Original Sin comes in the use of far, far too much narration. Had the film simply spooled out visually with the accompanying music, it would be an effective exercise, but the voiceover which pops up at the beginning of each section pulls the viewer out of the film, and removes all sense of immersion.
If you’re an INXS mega-fan, Original Sin – The 7 Sins featuring the songs and music of INXS is likely to appeal to you, despite its flaws, but casual listeners to the band might find this less than mystifying. You can judge for yourself when the soundtrack drops on all major digital platforms this Friday, July 16, and watch the film exclusively on Veeps for 48 hours beginning at 6 p.m. Central, also on Friday, July 16. You can check it out here.