Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Warren_Sc, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Warren_Sc

    Warren_Sc Second Unit

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    I remember seeing Koyaanisqatsi with my parents when I was 13 and kind of liking it, then re-watching it in college and getting into it. (I went to UC Santa Cruz and we watched the film and wrote a paper on it.) In fact, every so often I will chant "Koyaanisqatsi" for a witty effect... most people are too ignorant to get the reference. (okay, so maybe you have to be there...)

    I never saw Powaqqatsi.

    Anyway, is there scoop on these films? If the transfer is anything less awsome it will be a dissapointment. This could be incredible. I'd love the sound resonating throughout the house...
     
  2. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    The transfer of Powaqqatsi is great. The film... is not nearly as effective or coherent as Koyaanisqatsi.
     
  3. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    Have these been released? I've been waiting for them, but I thought they were still coming soon.
     
  4. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I believe they are both September 17 releases. I'm just wondering whether they cropped Koyaanisqatsi or whether the version I have on VHS is chopped on the sides.
     
  5. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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    Jeff: without having seen it, I wonder if perhaps your VHS copy of Koyaanisqatsi is open-matted to 1.33:1, rather than pan-and-scanned.
    The "Director's Premium Edition" charity disc -- which I got, being a sucker for that sort of thing -- is 1.33:1 and is certainly open-matte: John DeGroof, who was the compressionist on the disc, has said so in the alt.video.dvd USENET newsgroup.
    (His post, from 1 June 2002, has the "X-No-Archive" flag set to "yes," so I can't point you to it via Google, but he wrote that the Premium disc showed "more of the frame than the new one will offer." He also rather intriguingly suggested that "if you knew who did the transfer and made the decision to go full-frame instead of letterboxed, you'd probably have more respect for that decision.")
    The new disc is supposed to be anamorphic 1.85:1; I haven't seen it yet, so can't compare the framing with the "Premium Edition" disc. But I'd expect it to just be matted down to achieve the widescreen composition.
    doug
     
  6. Carl R

    Carl R Extra

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    I got the two disc package in the mail today and I've had a quick look at both discs. Both films are in 1,85:1, theatrical release format and enhanced for widescreen tvs, according to the covers. There were no inlays with chapter listings, which would have been nice.
    I have not seen any of the two films before, except a few clips, but to me the transfers look quite alright. Koyaanisqatsi looks a little grainy but that seems to stem from the source material. Powaqqatsi looks sharper. The DD 5.1 sound on both discs sounds good.
    Note that I've only watched about 15 mins on each, but my first impression is pretty good. [​IMG]
    I normally don't complain about such things, but the security stickers on these were the stickiest I've come across so far. [​IMG]
     
  7. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

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  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I suspect the VHS was open matte, so it may be worth hanging onto. I'll be getting the double set, and as Enrique pointed to the dOc review, it is also the site's spotlight for the week.
     
  9. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Screenwriter

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    The DVD of Koyaanisqatsi by MGM sucks big time.
    The non commercial DVD from IRE is MUCH better.
    MGM was so cheap to make this cult film a budget item
    on single layer plus a supplement. To make compression
    watchable they filtered out a lot of horizontal resolution.
    It's now considerably less sharp than the NOT 16:9 enhanced
    4:3 IRE DVD which has more picture on top and bottom.
    Big letdown.
    Michel Hafner
     
  10. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    I disagree about the DVD sucking big time. It surely isn't a "reference" DVD, but it is better than average in my opinion.

    In fact, Widescreen Review gave it a solid 4/5 rating for video quality.

    I loved this film! Unique and intriguing!
     
  11. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    I'm with Rob. I suffered through a grainy VHS copy for so many years that the new transfers (and solid sound mixes) are a godsend. Thanks MGM!
     

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