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Paris 2054. Live forever or die trying. 

Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Renaissance

Director: Christian Volckman

Starring: Daniel Craig, Catherine McCormack, Romola Garai, Jonathon Pryce

Renaissance reveals Paris in the year 2054: watched over by powerful multinationals, under-run by criminals.

It is from this city that beautiful young scientist Ilona (Garai) has been abducted. A geneticist for the Avalon corporation, she has been working to combat a premature aging disease in children. Desperate for her return, Avalon’s president (Pryce) turns to unorthodox cop Barthélémy Karas (Craig).

Teaming up with Ilona’s sister (McCormack), Karas delves into the mystery surrounding her disappearance. Encountering Ilona’s secretive mentor and a criminal gang lord with whom she was last seen, they discover Ilona’s research had a more sinister motivation than her employers claim. Stalked by assassins, and after the most thrilling car chase you’ll see in a cinema this year, Karas now realises that there is more at stake than just a missing girl.

The film, which took six years to make, appears almost entirely in just black and white, and uses motion-capture technology to give the animated characters authentic 3D movement. The comic inspired visuals draw immediate comparisons to Sin City, but Renaissance’s unique approach to graphics and an intelligent storyline result in a very different style.

Instead the entrancing and absorbing city-scapes of futuristic Paris draw strongly from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, and the interlocking threads of treachery and deception, through which Karas must work, are reminiscent of the detective novels of Raymond Chandler.

A soundtrack recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and vocal talents including Daniel Craig (Layer Cake, Casino Royale), Jonathon Pryce (Tomorrow Never Dies, Pirates of the Caribbean) and Catherine McCormack (Braveheart, The Taylor of Panama) all result in an absorbing, atmospheric film which is as 3-dimensional in your mind as it is on the screen.

These days computer generated films are no longer new, with impressive and innovative animation becoming the norm, but Renaissance’s largely experimental approach has managed to create a new and individual look within the genre. Sequences such as the thrilling car chase show that, despite this being his directorial debut, Volckman has an intuitive feel for how to control pace and tension in a film, while the classic detective story of lies, deception and conspiracy ensure your undivided attention.

Renaisance is a beautiful, entrancing and exciting conspiracy thriller throughout.

Daniel Scully

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)