Old 11-22-2000, 12:31 AM
VIDEO CAPSULE: Koyaanisqatsi 8/10

Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Directed by Godfrey Reggio
Score by Philip Glass

This is one hell of a hard film to describe in writing, so here goes. It's basically an 87 minute documentary which features no dialogue and no plot, but showcases some of the most stunning cinematography ever put to film. Set to Philip Glass' mesmerizing soundtrack, the movie subtly tells the story of how man, over time, corrupted the earth with buildings, technology and machines.

The movie begins with aerial shots of the Grand Canyon and progresses to clouds and the ocean. It slowly introduces power lines into the landscapes and eventually skyscrapers and factories. It then shifts into another mode, using time lapse photography to show highways and streets, with zooming cars travelling in and out of the picture. We're then shown sped up shots of factories, assembly lines and people quickly moving about the streets of New York. (all done very fast, to show people whizzing around)

The movie's soundtrack is perfectly coordinated to the visuals in the movie. Whatever is happening onscreen is timed exactly to be in sync with the songs. You'll be in a veritable trance for an hour and a half, gazing at these mesmerizing images. After the movie's over, you'll feel as if you've just consumed alot of drugs. It's a complete mindfuck. (pardon my French)

Featuring incredible visuals and a great score, this is one messed up, brilliant film.

In case you're wondering, Koyaanisqatsi means crazy life or life without balance in Hopi Indian.

Has anyone else seen this movie? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 11-23-2000, 04:07 AM
I totally dig Koyaanisqatsi, it is a trip. Have you seen Powaqqatsi, the sort of follow up, it's good. My personal favorite of this type of genre is Baraka. It's a movie about one day on the Earth from all corners. It's moving and fascinating.
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Old 11-23-2000, 08:23 AM
Right on Doctor Drew!!
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Old 11-23-2000, 09:40 AM
hey *veers*,

I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing Powaqqatsi, trouble is, it's practically impossible to find on video. (I actually saw Koyaanisqatsi for the first time this week because it was playing at a local repertoire cinema for like one time only)

As for Baraka, granted, it's a fine movie, but I think it pales in comparison to Reggio's film. I mean, alot of Baraka is just these gratuitous animal shots, mind you, many of them are quite beautiful to look at.

Very cool though, that at least other people have seen this movie...
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Old 11-24-2000, 03:25 PM
Great Film!!!!

I don't recommed this on video for your first viewing unless you have the absolute latest digital video and sound systems. It really deserves the full screen treatment, and top-quality sound.

In my experience it tends to be a rep cinema regular and one that most programmers are happy to take requests for.
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Old 02-08-2001, 04:59 AM
<moderator bump>
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