They work on different planets and achieve their superstardom in very different ways, but the last Taylor Swift concert movie was just fine. However, “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” is really good.
Five months of Beyoncé’s extreme generosity 2023 concert tour For fans who watched the show live and those who didn’t, the mix of spectacle, extravagance, video immersion and dance party caught on wildly.
The movie’s lavish images — share The crystallization of rehearsal, set-up, backstage beehive and fan adoration in one tear-stained ecstatic close-up after another reveals only (and exactly) what Beyoncé wants to reveal. She directed it, wrote the narration, produced it, ran the whole thing. And there’s enough filmmaking in the results to energize the experience.
Released by the acclaimed AMC Theaters Swift’s concert film A few weeks ago, “Renaissance” opened to the public on Thursday night. I caught this at a Regal multiplex in IMAX ($33.75 with fees on Fandango), and the crowd, the big, flashy part of the BeyHivers, applauded a ton and was fully engaged. My audience didn’t have a good impression of Houston, Texas, where two people named Beyoncé Knowles once grew up. Therefore, every mention of the word “Houston” in the movie was met with a reaction. “No!”
most with Grammys Beyoncé, a musical artist in history (second row: Sir Georg Solti), talks in “Renaissance” about creating a “safe space” for her fans, many of whom look to her music and her for solace, understanding, peace. melodic and rhythmic comfort zone. The eternally fashionable, constantly but serenely transforming star we see in the “Renaissance” works like a devil to notice the finer points. Who could ask for more from a superstar who one minute evokes Fritz Lang’s robot woman from “Metropolis” and the next features a series of super-set scenes featuring a kinetic, electric Destiny’s Child alum in action? Beyoncé has that beautiful, booming voice, those moves, that face, the wonder of “Black country curves” as she puts it, at her disposal.
As a visual capture of a tour supporting an album, “Renaissance” may not hold its own next to “Lemonade,” the arresting, 65-minute visual album that came out of nowhere in 2016. one kind of candle, or rather two candles. One is a concert film; The other one is about the concert and how I made this movie.
“Renaissance” was her seventh studio album, and the “Renaissance” concert tour kicked off in Stockholm in May 2023, shortly after Beyoncé underwent knee surgery. “I am not a machine,” he reminds us. The work/life balance challenges on tour would leave everyone stunned. Traveling with her husband Jay-Z and their three children, though not on the bus or Uber; touring life; The hours it takes for Beyoncé to relax after a performance; The demands are not easy in every respect.
It’s not easy to let his enthusiastic 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy go on tour with him, only to be met with outrage on social media later. The film devotes much of its time to Blue Ivy’s determination to keep rehearsing, try again, and get better.
There are long, loving tributes to Knowles’ family friend, Uncle Johnny, who introduced Beyoncé to house music and designed many of her early looks. Thanks to her, her mother Tina Knowles’ late nephew became a gay icon for millions. We hear Beyoncé admit to her frustration that even at the height of her stardom, she couldn’t get what she wanted from colleagues or business partners without a fight. “Everything in communicating as a black woman is a fight,” she says nonchalantly at one point. The “Renaissance” touring extravaganza we see on screen is proof that the struggle is and will be worth it.
Some (like me) may prefer concert films (or behind-the-scenes/on-stage performance hybrids) that feature highlights over most live shows. The movie “Renaissance” lasts about three hours. The pace seems a little slow in the last half hour. Some detours, like the Destiny’s Child reunion in Houston, don’t quite work, given about 20 seconds of screen time and then it’s gone.
“Renaissance,” on the other hand, does a lot of things right, including the editing decision to use a dizzying variety of shots shot in different cities and in different costumes within a single bar or two of a given song. The woman at the center of it all seems to change costume of her own accord, shaking the thing that’s currently vibrating once. I think the film’s commercial prospects will validate the song about the ever-increasing cash in “Thique.” But if there’s a triple threat out there that offers more for your money, I don’t know why we haven’t heard about it yet.
“Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” — 3 stars (out of 4)
No MPA degree
Running time: 2:48
How to watch: In theaters now
Michael Phillips is a Tribune critic.