Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ film coming to movie theaters
By Joe Coscarelli
Beyoncé’s 56-show Renaissance World Tour ended over the weekend without the release of any much-anticipated visual component tied to the singer’s shimmering 2022 dance album. Beyoncé, however, may have had a plan all along: “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” will be released in movie theaters Dec. 1, the singer announced earlier this week, immediately following the tour’s final show in Kansas City, Missouri.
“Be careful what you ask for, ’cause I just might comply,” Beyoncé — whose two previous solo releases, her 2013 self-titled album and “Lemonade,” from 2016, were billed as “visual albums” — wrote on Instagram, quoting the “Renaissance” song “All Up in Your Mind.”
The singer has previously released concert films, documentaries and extravagant music video collections via DVD (“I Am…Yours,” 2009), HBO (“Life Is but a Dream,” 2013, and “Lemonade,” 2016) and Netflix’s streaming service (“Homecoming,” 2019). But the release of the “Renaissance” film to theaters around the country follows a similar strategy deployed by Taylor Swift, who headlined the summer’s other culture-dominating blockbuster tour, and whose Eras Tour concert film is due out in theaters Oct. 13.
The two headliners are estimated to have generated more than $9 billion in economic activity combined, with each tour nearly matching the revenues of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, after adjusting for inflation.
The “Renaissance” film will track the tour’s journey from its opening in Stockholm in May to its finale Oct. 1. “It is about Beyoncé’s intention, hard work, involvement in every aspect of the production, her creative mind and purpose to create her legacy and master her craft,” according to an announcement. Tickets are on sale now.
“When I am performing, I am nothing but free,” Beyoncé says in the trailer. “My goal for this tour was to create a place where everyone is free, and no one is judged.” The preview also includes behind-the-scenes footage of the singer rehearsing with her daughter Blue Ivy Carter, who performed on the tour, and interacting with her husband, Jay-Z, and the couple’s young twins.
Writing in The New York Times upon the tour’s North American beginning, critic Lindsay Zoladz said, “The show’s look — as projected in diamond-sharp definition onto a panoramic screen — conjured Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ by way of the 1990 drag ball documentary ‘Paris Is Burning.’” Critic Wesley Morris, writing about the album, a tribute to Black and queer dance music, said of Beyoncé: “The range of her voice nears the galactic; the imagination powering it qualifies as cinema.”