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KOYAANISQATSI (1982)

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.


Koyaanisqatsi is a full-length nonverbal film without any characters, capturing stunning visual images by cinematographer Ron Fricke, accompanied with a moving score composed by Philip Glass. It is a visual poem and while the contents and visual imagery persistent in the film are really broad, it generally tries to show us the stark contrast between man and nature, beauty and war. It is quite noticeable, that most shots are assembled from simple and easily identifiable ingredients ranging from nature scenes, clouds, canyons and the ocean, to densely packed urban landscapes full of people, cars and machines. Also, time in Koyanisqaatsi is not always moving at the same speed. Some shots are in realtime, some in slow motion, and also timelapse photography is used. Human masses piling onto elevators are intercut with meat being stuffed into hotdogs, interwoven with slow-motion closeups of human faces with expressions that are funny, sad, frightening, and, most impressively, blank at the sight of teeming crowds.
As Godfrey Reggio said it best:

“What I tried to show is that the main event today is not seen by those who live in it. We see the surface of the newspapers and the obviousness of conflict, social injustice, the market, the welling up of culture. But for me, the greatest and most important event of perhaps our entire history has fundamentally gone unnoticed: the transiting from old nature – or the natural environment as our host of life for human habitation – into a technological milieu, into mass technology, as the environment of life.”

Director: GODFREY REGGIO
Cinematographer: RON FRICKE
Year: 1982
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1



Koyaanisqatsi
Next Film: The Last Emperor
Previous Film: Blade Runner

January 10, 2018

If you like these Stills, make sure to buy the movie, it is our absolutely highest recommendation.

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