#8 Renaissance

Renaissance (2006)

Dir: Christian Volckman

Daniel Craig… that’s all I knew about this film, it’s why I clicked ‘record’ on my computer… and what a random choice it proved to be!

I don’t have a huge amount to say about it, make of that what you will. This is a sci-fi animated film, essentially about a kidnapping, with the looming presence of a sinister corporation. It draws heavily on lots of familiar science fiction themes, especially those of huge businesses with global reach, and scientific progress having overwhelming impact on mankind… the usual!

The film while animated (from mo-cap) also has been styled into black-and-white, and not the monochrome of film with gradated shades, more a solid black or while as you might get with ink drawing, and a little of one shade of grey to show windows and other surfaces. This stylised look may be the film’s one big selling point, but it also in my opinion is the reason why it suffers from the all too common style-over-substance flaw. It looks somewhat striking, yet the visuals don’t serve any discernible purpose to refer back to the story, and the story is nothing new or special in any way.

Sadly it’s never a great sign when a film makes you think of another that you would rather be watching. Through much of Renaissance, I was thinking of ‘A Scanner Darkly’ also released in 2006, in which the performances were filmed and then rotoscoped, but with a clear reason that made great sense when considered alongside the narrative, so while it looked incredible the visual style aided the telling of the story.

So, Bond’s voice, none of his style… If you want to hear Daniel Craig, watch Skyfall… If you want a stylish animated effects film, watch A Scanner Darkly.

I don’t think I make it any more Black and White than that!

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