Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Film: 4 Takeaways From the Premiere

By admin Nov26,2023

Though the ballad-heavy prelude that opened Beyoncé’s Renaissance set list is trimmed, nearly every other song from the tour is included in the film. She even found room for “Thique” and “All Up in Your Mind,” a Renaissance double-header excised from many of her tour stops.

The only egregious omission in this two-hour-48-minute movie is a behind-the-scenes bit that goes by way too quickly: Beyoncé convenes a Destiny’s Child reunion in Houston that includes not just Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams but also two of the girl group’s first members, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson, who were contentiously pushed out. “It was like a new birth for us, and a lot of healing,” Beyoncé says in her narration, though we only see the five of them together for a second and don’t hear a single thing they discussed. I would have watched three more hours of that summit alone!

The “Renaissance” album was released in July 2022 without any sort of music-video accompaniment, a surprise given Beyoncé’s recent run of game-changing visual albums for “Lemonade” and her self-titled 2013 record. A subsequent teaser video for the first “Renaissance” album track “I’m That Girl” seemed to promise more to come, but none did.

At a Louisville, Ky., stop on the Renaissance tour, a fan held up a sign asking where the visuals were, prompting Beyoncé to grandly tell the crowd, “You are the visuals.” (The crowd didn’t love that.) The “Renaissance” movie is cheeky enough to include that moment, but otherwise, there’s no mention of the missing visuals, nor an explanation of why they’ve seemingly been scuttled.

By and large, the Renaissance tour eschewed celebrity cameos and surprise drop-ins, preferring to keep the focus on the queen bee herself. Big names joined Beyoncé onstage at only two tour stops: Houston, where Megan Thee Stallion performed “Savage,” and Los Angeles, where Diana Ross and Kendrick Lamar came out for the concert held on Beyoncé’s 42nd birthday.

Those appearances all made it into the movie, but the special guest the movie is most interested in is Beyoncé’s 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who often participated as one of the dancers on her mother’s songs “My Power” and “Black Parade.” I caught one of Blue Ivy’s first tour appearances last May in London, where she was still getting the hang of her choreography, but by the end of the Renaissance tour, she had everything — the moves, the attitude — down pat.

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