Renaissance

"Without death, life is meaningless." Jonas Muller
"Without death, life is meaningless." Jonas Muller

Masterpiece

Renaissance (2006) is a visual masterpiece. 


Directed by Christian Volckman.

Starring Daniel Craig, Romola Garai, Catherine McCormack, Jonathan Pryce and Ian Holm among many others.

It's not often that a film is, so visually stunning you could care less about the story, the plot or the performances. Renaissance is one of those movies that from beginning to end you are left with awe at the creative geniuses that gave birth to it. Volckman used an advanced form of Max Fleischer's patented rotoscoping also called interpolated rotoscoping. Max created a series of rotoscope shorts called Out of the Inkwell of which I have posted below a clip of an early example.  Rotoscoping is a process that takes human actors and turns them into cartoon versions of themselves. By making everything black and white the film looks like a dream and the results are jarring to your brains ability to separate reality from illusion. At times I felt utterly lost in the surreal three-dimensional background visuals as though I were dreaming the film. Christians dreamlike visuals remind me of Luis Buñuel's blending of reality with illusion in Belle de Jour - Beauty of the Day (1967).

I saw the French language version without subtitles and I understood most of it. I then went back and added the English subtitles and the story, plot and narrative made more sense. Christian had a superb English speaking cast, but I doubt very much they could outdo the visuals. As an actor when your doing full animation or CGI rendering of your character your vocal range must be pitch perfect, so that the animated version of your character can come to life.

Volckman has come closest to capturing the look and feel of a graphic comic book on film. It would have been interesting to have added some color to one of the characters to separate them. I might play around with one scene and add some color to see what it does to the overall look and feel of this film. The film could use a bit of editing to tighten up the story. Still Christian and his technical team have created a visual masterpiece.

The scene below is one many that just completely left me speechless. Look at the different perspectives and camera angles used. If you turn off the sound you can follow the story quite easily in this scene.


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Film Trivia - With a budget of $15 million dollars it took six years to complete Renaissance.


Max Fleischer's Out of the Inkwell - Ko Ko The Clown Rotoscope Clip

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Max was an early pioneer of film making and is created with many technical film innovations. Fleischer also created the follow the bouncing ball used when singing along to music on screen. Fleischer also featured black Jazz performers like Louis Armstrong to rotoscope and star in his shorts at a time when blacks were relegated to stereotype background characters.



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Note - If you would like to view Renaissance to rent or buy please click on the link below the comments. It is sponsored by Google, so it is the safest and most secure way to get a copy for your film library.