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| | |-+  Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
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: Koyaanisqatsi (1982)  ( 4282 )
mr. mouse
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« : November 01, 2009, 04:08:42 PM »

Just saw this movie and wrote a review of it on my blog.

Koyaanisqatsi is not really a documentary, but rather a document, an excursion into the realm of pure cinema. I don‘t think this movie is trying to deliver the message that man has made a mess of the world, that message seems a little too obvious, I think that most of all, the movie‘s intention is to create an intense audio/visual experience, to recreate the kind of experience that is standing on top of a mountain with an iPod in your ear and marvel at the awesome landscape. Indeed Godfrey Reggio, the film‘s director has stated that "it is up [to] the viewer to take for himself/herself what it is that [the film] means."

In Roger Ebert’s three-star review of the film he said: “All of the images in this movie are beautiful, even the images of man despoiling the environment. The first shot of smokestacks is no doubt supposed to make us recoil in horror, but actually I thought they looked rather noble.“ Even though I disagree with Ebert‘s assertion that the shot of smokestacks is no doubt supposed to make us recoil in horror, I think he is absolutely right about the image being noble. Maybe the filmmakers are trying to make some statement about man‘s attraction to destruction but my impression is that the image of the smokestacks and the footage of the flaming rocket plummeting to earth that closes the film, are quite breathtaking and beautiful despite the fact that in essence these images are quite horrific. Maybe, the idea is that man can find beauty in even the unlikeliest places.
All of this is magnified by Philip Glass‘s music. It could be argued that Philip Glass is the true auteur of the film. At first Philip Glass was reluctant to score the film, as he had never composed music for movies before, but agreed after seeing a photo montage, assembled by Godfrey Reggio, put to Philip Glass music. The movie is so seamlessly attached to the music, that if you were to watch the movie with the sound off, the rhythm of the film‘s editing would almost make you feel the music. Likewise Philip Glass‘s score is as close as you can get to a „movie for the ears“ as possible.
Ron Fricke, the film‘s cinematographer (who deserves just as much credit as Reggio and Glass) made another similar movie called Baraka, wich I haven‘t seen, but appearantly treads many of the same waters.

If aliens ever land on our planet and demand a brief introduction in audio/visual form about what we, the human race, have been up to, collectively, for the last hundred years or so, Koyaanisqatsi might very well serve that purpose. But would the aliens appreciate the artistry of the film? That remains to be seen.

Have any of you seen this movie? I would like to know what you think.

cigar joe
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« #1 : November 01, 2009, 04:47:43 PM »

I liked it a lot.

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« #2 : November 01, 2009, 07:40:25 PM »

it was pretty cool

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« #3 : November 03, 2009, 08:50:38 AM »

I saw this a few years ago, liked the score, loved the visuals, but maybe a bit too preachy for my tastes. Very powerful filmmaking though.

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Dust Devil
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« #4 : November 03, 2009, 09:16:29 AM »

Heard good things about it but never watched it.

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