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The 'Qatsi' trilogy

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nathan V, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    Could someone please explain what these movies (if they are even movies) are? There's two of them, with the third opening in November. They've recieved quite a bit of critical acclaim, and they have the most bizarre names, and the first one stars George Bush Sr! IMDB didn't have much of an explanation. help!

    Nathan
     
  2. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    The first one is called Koyaanisqatsi. It's sequel is called Powaqatsi. I have forgotten what the third film will be called. I don't believe George Bush is in any of them though![​IMG]
    Basically they are films with dazzling images of nature and man, sometimes colliding, set to a wonderful atmospheric score by Philip Glass. There is no dialog in the film and the only narrative is a logical progression from one scene to the next.
    Very hard films to describe, so if anyone else wants to chime in, be my guest.[​IMG]
    BTW, the first two have happily been announced for DVD. Both are wonderful and mesmerizing with Koyaanisquatsi being my favorite. Definitely not for all tastes however.
     
  3. andrew markworthy

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    Koyaanisquatsi is a native American word meaning world out of balance. The overarching aim of the movie is to show how industrialisation has created an out-of-control lost-touch-with-nature kind of world. The movie is in essence a series of images of industrialised and 'natural' living, some speeded up (e.g. commuters at a train station, driving through a city at night) some shot from the air (e.g. the view from a jet fighter flying over the Arizona desert). Some are dull, but many are striking. Whether you agree with the message (and personally I don't) doesn't really affect the enjoyment of the film. What will affect your enjoyment are two things:

    (a) whether you like watching a succession of images with no verbal narrative; although the shots are conceptually and/or visually linked, not all are obvious.

    (b) whether you like Philip Glass's music. If you've not heard it before, it's fair to say that he does tend to polarise opinion.

    Powaaquatsi is basically more of the same, and arguably is less striking.

    Usually it's possible to tell someone 'if you like X then you'll like this', but with these movies, it's v. difficult. Baraka is perhaps the nearest movie in tone, but that has a rather different purpose.

    I'd personally advise renting before you buy.
     
  4. Ed O

    Ed O Agent

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    I think Tino and Andrew nailed it. However, I prefer Powaaquatsi. I have both on VHS (and soundtracks on CD) and will get them on DVD.

    The soundtrack to Koyaanisqatsi has also been released on DVD-A. I have not heard it or read any reviews so I cannot comment on it's quality.

    Ed
     
  5. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    I wrote a review of Koyaanisqatsi in preparation for the upcoming DVD release. Here it is. The review will be revised and updated once the DVD set comes out. What's posted now should help explain a bit what this movie is all about.
     
  6. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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    Nice job, Francois. When you wrote about your feelings on the Montreal subway, I thought about the fact that Montrealers can spend most of their day below ground, never actually coming into contact with the natural world. While it's cool the first time you see it, it does bring the expression "life out of balance" to mind. No offense intended. [​IMG]
     

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