life out of balance

DVD - 2012
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This first work of The Qatsi Trilogy wordlessly surveys the rapidly changing environments of the Northern hemisphere, in an astonishing collage created by the director, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass. It shuttles viewers from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human beings, increasing dependence on technology.
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection, c2012
ISBN: 9781604656732
Branch Call Number: MOVIE KOY
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (86 min.) : si., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Glass, Philip
Reggio, Godfrey


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Apr 26, 2018

Good scenery. The music consists mostly basic string arpeggios. It's like hearing practice sessions of a lone violinist student with airy synthesizer pads in the background. It may be unfair to compare the whole music composition to Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygen, but it should at least not too inferior to Oxygen. The composer had missed a golden chance, too bad!

a stunner.

Dec 03, 2016

Before aerial photography and slo-mo footage became "normal", this collage was born. If you missed it first time around, it's still as captivating and hypnotic as ever only now, later in my life anyway, the underlying purpose of the sequences becomes more relevant. This IS a film with a message not just a series of pretty pictures. The opening sequence leads inevitably to the last and in between we're taken on a tour of our planet in all its glory...and its misery. One remembers the repetitive landscape sequences but there are also the intimate, poignant snippets from the streets of New York City which are just as riveting and just as central to the "message", the punch of which is contained in that last mind-blowing sequence brings it all home.

real_thing Jan 30, 2016

No words to discribe this. REALLY!!!

javacleve Jan 09, 2016

Beautiful cinematography (would be better on a big screen) but other than that, not much, and I don't think it succeeds in making its point. It was EXTREMELY slow moving and the music got annoying after a while. Would have been much better at half the length! I appreciate the idea and the innovation for the time it was made but be prepared to fast forward through it.

May 27, 2015

Ominous and fantastic. I thought they were going to chant Koyaanisqatsi through the whole film...would have driven me batty...but it does stop, and at the end I learned the meaning. A nice film that makes me think we should have stopped at the horse and buggy. Great cinematography.

Aka_Aka_Aka Feb 28, 2015

"Crazy Life Out Of Balance!"

Without a plot, actors, or dialogue, Koyaanisqatsi (with its hypnotic musical score and remarkable artistic cinematography) was a surreal, spellbinding trip for the eyes and ears.

Koyaanisqatsi contrasted the stunning, tranquil beauty of nature with the vibrant, frenzied hum of contemporary urban society in America. The viewer is treated to the vivid colours and patterns from both of these worlds.

Rich in visual details, much of Koyaanisqatsi's photography was presented (for added effect) in either slow-motion or time-lapse mode. This film was the first instalment of the Qatsi Trilogy. The second instalment came out in 1988, and the third, in 2002.

Koyaanisqatsi was competently directed by Godfrey Reggio, with cinematography by Ron Fricke, and a musical score by Philip Glass.

Nov 20, 2014

An awesome, mesmerizing synthesis of moving images and music... all of it gradually unfolding its themes, maintaining complexity and ambiguity without succumbing to triteness.

Sep 12, 2014

For when you're in the mood to have stunning images and random thoughts wash over you. There is a moment -- and you will know exactly when it is -- when the editing, music and imagery heavily suggest "here come the big bad humans." This is a shame, because there is so much more to this film than "nature good; humans bad." If you can ignore this interpretation, and view the footage more neutrally, you will be swept away by complex beauty. A large screen is mandatory.

Apr 04, 2014

This is a 1982 film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass.
The film consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States.
It contains neither dialogue nor a vocalized narration.
In the Hopi language, the word "Koyaanisqatsi" means the following 5 aspects:
1) crazy life,
2) life in turmoil,
3) life out of balance,
4) life disintegrating,
5) a state of life that calls for another way of living.
Translation of the Hopi Prophecies sung in the film is as follows:
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceaans."
Although it is supposed to be a thought-provoking film, I should say that it is getting a bit boring to sit for 86 minutes without hearing any voice.

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