A visually poetic mediation on the toll that modern technology is having on humans and the earth. A wordless survey on the significant changes occuring over the natural environment of the Northern Hemisphere. Accompanied by a haunting score from Philip Glass.
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Godfrey Reggio's KOYAANISQATSI (meaning Life Out of Balance in ancient Hopi) is perhaps the definitive chronicle of life on Earth. A mesmerizing exploration of Earth's landscapes as they are affected and transformed by human technology, the film hauntingly evokes the rhythms and idiosyncrasies of human existence. Philip Glass' score is one of the greatest pieces of music ever composed for film.
Nice trip to the dark side, but paradoxically it shows more of a bright side of humankind, since there is so much more behind it. But I guess it would be too disturbing to put the real deal out there - the movie would loose it's poetry. I hate the end, cause it's so disconnected. And if you don't know it yet: be high when watching!!
I was lucky enough to see this in 2003 with Philip Glass and his personal Chamber Orchestra playing the score live at the Chicago Theatre. At that point I was already familiar with the film. But sitting there in the front row of the balcony leaning forward as the music quite literally washed over me note by note, I was completely blown away. The ending is one of the most mesmerizing images I have ever seen on film.
I was lucky enough to witness this film with P. Glass conducting a full symphony orchestra live. This took place at one of University of Pennsylvania's auditoriums at the time of its release. Captivated within this hypnotic scenario, the sadness of G. Reggio's message hit home like a runaway frieght train. Sadly, nothing much has changed in the following quarter century; we're about to attempt to scratch the surface