The b&w photography is outstanding but the film itself isn't. Since "Koyaanisqatsi" (1982), the collaborations between Reggio and Glass suffered from diminishing substance. So this is a consequent continuation of the annoying banalities we experience in "Naqoyqatsi" (2002). Glass is able to write striking film music (e.g. the scores to Scorsese's "Kundun" or Daldry's "The Hours") but this one isn't worth mentioning.
Oily black and white high contrast imagery, slowed down to examine split seconds of our connection to each other and our planet. Philip Glass provides a swelling score to accompany. This film oozes visceral feeling from the combination of both. The pan through the human faces to the gorilla is particularly powerful.
What begins rather compelling becomes tiresome and repetitive after the trick shows no sign of progression. Beautiful to watch, with its share of great moments, but ultimately a mixed-bag sensory collage.
VISITORS has beautiful images and an interesting experiment with engaging the audience in a peculiar mutual observer/observed relationship with people in the movie. It doesn't quite work out, but there are effective passages. And gorgeous images of structures. And the moon. And a swamp. The whole, though, is less than the sum of its parts; good as many of those parts are.
Sometimes intent muddies the experience, and I'd sooner disregard Reggio's statements about technology's "trance-like" effects. After all, here that also resembles deep symbiosis of viewer and subject, an affirmation of our fundamental human alien-ness. Trance also looks like concentration, and at its best this experience offers meditative probing into ourselves and the space around us, and is more moving for it.