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When 22-year-old Ilona (voice of Romola Garai) is abruptly kidnapped, Barthélémy Karas (voice of Daniel Craig), a Paris cop with a hard-fought reputation for finding anyone, is called into action. As the trail gets hot, Karas senses he's not the only one looking for the beautiful enigma, and every witness he digs up seems to turn up dead. Set in Paris in 2054, director Christian Volckman's bold vision of a stark near-future takes film noir to its most stylized edge, utilizing live action motion capture, animated in 3D and rendered in high contrast black and white to create a graphic novel come-to-life. Co-starring Jonathan Pryce and Ian Holm.


Now that the film is done, one of the things I like to do is paint. It’s the opposite process of making a film, and after Renaissance, it’s a great relief. It’s always good for me to go from a film back to something as consistent as oil on canvas. On the one hand, you’re alone in front of an empty space trying to find inspiration and spontaneous actions. On the other hand, film is like a chess game where every move will trigger reactions, good or bad, that you will have to carry all the way to the end, planning everything two or three years in advance with 400 people. Painting is a pure, instinctive, solitary art form with no constraints; film is a multi-player mind game full of rules and regulations with a financial outcome.

Renaissance was a very complex film to make, a wild and incredible adventure that started in 1999. At that time, just the idea of making a film using motion capture was completely new to us, and the use of black and white was a great challenge. The strange emotions that I felt watching Fritz Lang, Orson Welles and noir films were still haunting me. Great shadows, wild angles, and weird characters living in dark cities where the line between good and evil is not so obvious—those were the things that really struck me and nourished my subconscious. I guess the motivation behind Renaissance was born with those ambiguous and dark films. I wanted to explore those themes and patterns again, but using the most modern digital tools. And I wanted to work on something risky.

Thinking back on it, developing an expressionistic film, transforming Paris into a futuristic metropolis, using motion capture and creating everything from scratch in 3D was a pretty unreasonable goal…perhaps I will get back to my painting!