Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Shades of Grey

Saw Renaissance last night. Wow. Set in a futuristic Paris, this film is being compared to Blade Runner in terms of ideas. I suppose the dark, stylistic elements are similar... and the plot takes place in the future, with a hard-nosed cop looking for something... and it's film noir. Personally though, I don't think it's a great comparison.

The main selling point of this film is by far the visual style. Black-and-white rotoscoped animation over live actors. It took 7 years to make. The style was inspired by the Sin City graphic novels (when they started this film, the Sin City movie wasn't even on anybody's radar), along with early film cinematography. It looks great. The one time there's any colour, it's striking... and the rest of the film amazes you with how much texture and dimension can be found in literal black and white (with no shades of grey).

As for the plot and such? It's serviceable. The plot is a standard investigation, with red herrings and incomplete clues. The twists towards the end aren't Earth-shattering, but provide some interesting moments regardless. The fact that we don't know exactly what's at stake until there's around 20 min left is probably necessary.

It was made in France by a French director and crew... but the voices were all done in English originally (and French dubbed over for its French distribution)... so the dialogue isn't awkward or stilited... and much is said without a lot of words. The acting is solid, with Daniel Craig, Ian Holm, and others providing voices, but not the bodies.

In short, it was great to watch, and has a perfectly adequate story to go along with it. It was a bit slow at times, but overall I intend to add it to my DVD collection whenever it actually comes out.

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