Tron @ Tate Modern
After the Disney movie ‘Tron: Legacy’ premiered in London last night, the great turbine hall of the Tate Modern was converted into The Grid for the film’s after-party. This was one of the best uses I’ve seen for the vast space with its immense concrete ramp and agoraphobia-inducing height, with Tron players wearing video monitors stationed throughout its field in white cubes, matched to a throbbing soundtrack by Daft Punk (or as the inept Sky presenter announced them, Deaf Funk).
Pictures never capture the scale of hall (especially not on your phone, like this) but the challenge of creating a spectacular event was very well met – although I’m not sure what was in the glowing blue cocktails.
As for the film, I’m shocked to recall that I went to the premiere of the first Tron in LA, and this version is not dissimilar; jaw-dropping effects sequences welded to reams of clunky dialogue. Action sequences give a proper sense of space and continuity, with no quick edits spoiling the sense of drama, and standout moments include a fight with discs, a sensational bike chase on multiple levels and a knockout dogfight in folding-wing planes.
The film has a graceful, fluid organic design of polished black, red and blue surfaces that don’t need 3D at all, and Michael Sheen shining as the Bowie-like Zuse in a briefly hilarious but otherwise inconsistent, plodding script. Jeff Bridges is aged young via computer graphics, although standing next to him as he is now, he looks pretty damned good in the real-life present too. Ignore the confusing story and catch the film on a big screen to appreciate the full richness of the design, which is the film’s main raison d’etre.