DVD - 1983
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Koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi Indian word meaning variously: crazy life, life in turmoil, life disintegrating, life out of balance (the subtitle for this film), and a state of life that calls for another way of life. This film presents a concert of visual images set to the music of Philip Glass that progesses from purely natural environments to nature as affected by man, and finally to man's own manmade environment that is devoid of nature.
Publisher: Santa Monica, Calif. : MGM Home Entertainment, c1983.
Edition: Widescreen version (aspect ratio 1.85:1).
ISBN: 9780792853336
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (DVD) (87 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.


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Back in the 90s this film was unavailable due to rights squabbles. I saw a LaserDisc (remember them?) sell on eBay for $1000+!

Aug 13, 2018

Wonderful film with a wonderful musical score. Watch the interviews in the "extras" section for great insight.

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!

Mar 08, 2018

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.

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