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Beyoncé’s Concert Doc Proves She’s a Real ‘Renaissance’ Woman – Monomaxos


Beyoncé is, perhaps, the world’s most public and most private entertainer. Mononymous, ubiquitous, and beloved, she’s become more and more inaccessible over the course of her 20-plus-year career. These days, she rarely sits for interviews or profiles—and when she does, she’s always completely in control of her narrative. With Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, which hit theaters on December 1, the superstar gives us another highly curated yet surprisingly personal peek behind her glittery silver curtain.

Bey is no stranger to concert documentaries. A decade ago, she made her directorial debut with her documentary, Life Is but a Dream, which wove together archival footage and home movies. Though fans ate it up, critics were less taken by the film: “It’s an infomercial,” wrote Alessandra Stanley in her New York Times review. “Not just about Beyoncé’s talent onstage but her authenticity behind the scenes.”

Undeterred, six years later she released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, which captured her 2018 headlining set at Coachella. Visually arresting and expertly executed, Beyoncé’s second film pleased fans and critics alike; the film, Wired wrote, captured a “once-in-a-lifetime performance by one of the world’s greatest living artists that our hyperconnected world allows everyone to celebrate together.”

With Renaissance, Beyoncé takes her previous work and multiplies it tenfold. The film combines an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the tour with gasp-inducing footage from the concert. On a purely technical level, the achievement is astonishing: “In order to perform as many times as we perform, we have three stages,” she says in the film. (That’s 56 performances in 39 cities located in 12 different countries.) “As one is getting set up, the other two stages are traveling to the next city and getting built.” She also quickly runs through all the “different bees in the hive” that make Renaissance possible: sound and lighting technicians, choreographers, musicians, background singers, chefs, physical therapists, nurses, security, and dozens more, who, at the end of the day, all answer to her.

Beyoncs Concert Doc Proves Shes a Real 'Renaissance' Woman

by Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Parkwood/Getty Images.

Yes, Beyoncé’s a micromanager. (She’s also a Virgo and proud of it.) She’s also the producer and product all at once. The film shows how difficult it is for her to be both the talent and the one constantly in the driver’s seat, having to check her collaborators when they say that certain things, like a specific camera or wide-angle lens, aren’t feasible. “Being a Black woman, everything is a fight,” she says. “Eventually they realize this bitch will not give up.” We also see the human toll this takes on her, spending time with Bey as she heals from knee surgery in the months leading up to the tour.

Any of the millions of people who attended the Renaissance world tour can attest that the concert works on a macro level, entertaining even those of us who watched from the rafters. But the film shows just how the tour worked on a micro level as well. The close-ups highlight heretofore unseen facial expressions, snarls, eyelid flutters, and furtive glances that even the largest JumboTron can’t account for. The series of Homecoming-inspired mid-song cuts showcasing the litany of haute couture outfits Beyoncé wore while performing are dazzling and made even more impressive when you realize the precision it took to be able to capture the same frame over the course of five or six shows. Every backup dancer, musician, set piece, and Beyoncé herself had to be in the exact right position and perfectly in sync to successfully pull off this little piece of movie magic. It brings a new meaning to the phrase “Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation.”



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Meet the author behind the lifestyle inspiration! Antonio brings a unique perspective to the world of lifestyle, weaving together words that captivate and ideas that resonate. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for embracing the richness of everyday life, Antonio invites you on a journey to explore the art of living well.

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