Communion Of Dreams

September 28, 2010, 10:54 am
Filed under: Art, Blade Runner, movies, Predictions, Science Fiction, Society, tech

I’ll often re-watch a favorite movie. But seldom will I do so in the span of a couple of days.

However, this weekend I watched something which was so visually compelling, and which had me pondering a number of different issues, that I held onto the NetFlix envelop for an extra day so that I could watch the movie again after I had time to digest the first viewing of it. That movie is Renaissance.

OK, there are a lot of things to like about this movie. But first, let me say a couple of things about its weaknesses. The plot has minor problems. The dialog is uneven in places. Some of the characters are cartoonish.

Yet overall the movie is a success. As noted, most of the visuals are incredibly compelling – which is quite a nice accomplishment in using black & white (and grey tone) animation. When I re-watched the movie last night, I found myself pausing it just to take in some scenes more completely, and a bunch of the movie I watched at half-speed, just so I could appreciate how the artists did what they did.

I was also intrigued to see the vision of the near-term future the movie is based on. It’s set in 2054, just two years later than my novel Communion of Dreams is set. And a lot of the tech they foresee is the same sort of thing I do, at least that’s implied by what shows up on the screen. I found myself wanting to know a *lot* more about that world and how things worked – a good sign, and part of the reason I wanted to think about the movie for a couple of days before watching it again.

Another good thing about Renaissance are the references it makes to other highly regarded science fiction stories, as well as some of the less well-known ‘arthouse’ movies. But it doesn’t beat you over the head with those, or drop them in gratuitously – they serve a purpose, and are part of the overall look and story of the movie.

If you like good science fiction, if you like film noir, if you like animation not intended for children, then track down and watch Renaissance.

Jim Downey

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