We are all cogs in the machine; a-la Metropolis. If you work in the city; seeing those people on escalators make you want to cry. What's it all for really? All this scurrying around? Nothing has changed since this film was made; in fact things have gotten worse environmentally. The earth's climate is changing as a result of all this human activity and soon there will be no more coral reefs. What then? Far sighted film making of the best kind.
movie was disappointing! rather than playing music and showing videos all througout the film, the maker of this movie could have said something and explained it in further detail.
the message of this movie maybe good but i must say, I wasted my time watching it. I had to fast forward my DVD hoping there was something exciting but there was none. the last bit was good though, but it was just 3 slides explaining what koyaanisqatsi means.
Pioneered a genre of documentary that brought photography and musical composition together
Koyaanisqatsi is the work of director Godfrey Reggio, time-lapse photographer Ron Fricke and composer Philip Glass — released in 1982. It was the first of the Qatsi trilogy — Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002) followed. The film would also inspire similar non-verbal documentaries with sweeping music scores such as Baraka (1992), Atlantis (1991) and the truly amazing peek into the insect world Microcosmos (1996).
The title translates as “life out of balance” from the Hopi language spoken by Amerindian folk in Arizona. Certainly, the movie affords us a very unique perspective on human life — the god’s eye view. With cinema focused on micro human stories, Koyaanisqatsi gives a very different point of view.
It all begins in a cave with some primitive human drawings juxtapose the launch of Apollo 12. It then travels through air, water, clouds, mountains until we finally arrive at human life — both its destructiveness and awesomeness.
Koyaanisqatsi is a mesmerising, beautiful watch (and the Glass score grows on you). While it does show “life out of balance” and the machine-like quality of our existence, I don’t think its a movie that is wholly critical or negative about human life. It really puts you in the position of observer to see life in all its complexity and contradition, which makes it a movie to watch again and again.
I only watched it once before in the cinema some 18 years ago or so and I am really glad I came across this DVD nearly by accident. If you like it make sure you watch 'Essence of Life' in extras - there are interviews with both Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass. It also gives you a glimpse of what IRE is and how it was made but it is much more than just 'the making of'.
Check http://www.koyaanisqatsi.com/aboutus/godfrey.php and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koyaanisqatsi for more info.
The final 4 1/2 min scene of a Mercury Atlas rocket exploding and the engine falling down to Earth slowly spinning like if it has a pulse must be one of the best images ever produced and used in the context.
At 90 min I did not find it too lengthy. Problem is you have to actually watch it which may come as a surprise to some as there is no narration to go by or even a plot to follow. Come to think about it they did not use CG back then either.
I stated with Baraka, so I guessed this would be in that vain. Mesmerising scenes, however, I would have enjoyed it more had I known in advance that the scenes were chosen in response to the three Hopi prophecies which appear at the end of the film.
I was kind of tired when i watched this so perhaps it lost it's full impact but it's still definately worth a look. Word of warning though. It's long, it's artsy and it's from the eighties. If you can't handle that then don't bother.
The director(?), in collaboration with Philip Glass meld an etherial and communicative score with images of both nature and 'civilisation' in an effort to confront the viewer with the strange, almost alien, properties of the familiar. They contrast vast, beautiful and seemingly endless natural vistas with the destructive and metaphorically cancerous proliferation of human influence.
An inconvenient truth - without the graphs and boring soliloqies from second place presidents.
I must say though it could do with some chemical enhancement on the part of the audience.
I can't believe it's taken 25 years to discover this film, what an amazing, moving and prophetic piece of movie history. This is as, if not more relevant now, as it was in 1983. I was rivetted and at times shaken, by the images and music, am now rushing to get the other 2!! Highly recommended.
The original and still, to my mind the best of its kind.
The imagery combines with Phillip Glass' best music, to bring a memorable perspective to the world.
Gets of to a slow start but literally picks up pace as it goes.
Found the movie quite disappointing and ended up stopping it after 40 minutes.
Life out of balance - the meaning of the word koyaanisqatsi and the concept described by this film. I found this movie to be not as polished as Baraka, but still with an interesting message, described without storyline or dialogue, but instead by a haunting combination of imagery and music.
Its like seeing the world for the first time. The message of this film is up to you to decide. Amazing images that will stay in your mind for life.
Such an unusual format - brillant panoramic images with a background of " endless " music. Just about no words.
Really dont know what to make of it. I'm still searching for a meaning.