Renaissance: Christian Vlockman’s Sci-Fi Thriller Animation

Christian Vlockman’s “Renaissance,” a bold, visually impressive sci-fi thriller animation, won the Best Picture Award at the 2006 Annecy International Film Festival, the world preeminent animation film festival, and it also played at Toronto Fest later that year.

The futuristic tale is set in 2054 Paris, a city that has become a labyrinth where all movement is continuously monitored and recorded. Cut off from the world for its own protection, the City of Lights has nonetheless continued to expand: 21st century skyscrapers overlay centuries-old architectural masterpieces. And below street level, a sophisticated network of streamlined plazas push up against the city’s ancient, deteriorating tunnel systems.

Marc Miance has offered the original visual concept, and the characters are created by Julien Renoult and Gerald Parel. The script and dialogues are written by Matthieu Delaporte, Alexandre Patelliere, Patrick Raynal, and Jean-Bernard Pouy, based on a story by Delaporte and Patelliere.

Casting a shadow over everything is the city’s largest company, Avalon, which insinuates itself into every aspect of contemporary life to sell its primary export–eternal youth and beauty. The writers combine some timely social concerns with the more familiar vocabulary of film noir.

When 22-year-old Ilona (Romola Garai), one of Avalon’s most promising scientists, is abruptly kidnapped, Avalon calls on Barthlmy Karas (Daniel Craig), a Paris cop with a hard-fought reputation for finding anyone, no matter what sacrifices he has to make along the way.

As the trail gets hot, Karas senses he’s not the only one looking for the beautiful enigma. There’s dark humor in the main narrative element: Almost eevery witness Karas digs up seems to turn up dead.

Like most of noir obsessive and haunted protagonists, to find Ilona and unlock the secrets of her disappearance, Karas must plunge deep into the parallel worlds of corporate espionage, organized crime, and genetic research–where the truth imprisons whoever finds it first.

Boasting a vision of a stark near-future, drenched in hidden secrets and technological frontiers, Renaissance takes an edgy and stylized approach to its noirish saga, animated in 3D and rendered in high contrast black and white to create a graphic novel come-to-life.

Credits

Produced by Aton Soumache, Roche Lener and Alexis Vonarb.
Associate producer: Jake Eberts.
Executive producer: Jean-Bernard Marinot.
Story by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre Patelliere.
Screenplay: Matthieu Delaporte, Alexandre Patelliere, Patrick Raynal, and Jean-Bernard Pouy.
Visual concept: Marc Miance
Characters created by Julien Renoult and Gerald Parel.

Cast (Voices

ILONA (ROMALA GARAI)
KARAS (DANIEL CRAIG)
BISLANE (CATHERINE McCORMACK)
JONAS MULLER (IAN HOLM)
PAUL DELLENBACH (JONATHAN PRYCE)