Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1982)


Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, is a 1982 film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke. The title “Koyaanisqatsi” is a Hopi Indian word meaning “life out of balance.” Personally speaking, this is one of the most mesmerizing works of art I’ve ever seen.

The film consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. The visual tone poem contains neither dialogue nor a vocalized narration: its tone is set by the juxtaposition of images and music. Reggio explains the lack of dialogue by stating “it’s not for lack of love of the language that these films have no words. It’s because, from my point of view, our language is in a state of vast humiliation. It no longer describes the world in which we live.” Thirty years later hasn’t helped matters to say the least.
The film is the first in the Qatsi trilogy of films: it is followed by Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002). The trilogy depicts different aspects of the relationship between humans, nature, and technology. Koyaanisqatsi is the best known of the trilogy and is considered a cult film. So let’s all sit back and enjoy as America sinks further into a pit of unholy hellishness.

Koyaanisqatsi – Kizökkent világ from Merényi Zoltán on Vimeo.

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Sources used in this post may include: wikipedia.org, imdb.com

One Reply to “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1982)”

  1. I, too, remembered the film as worth seineg on the big screen and brought my kids. Thirty years later, it’s a satisfying collection of fairly expectable filmic devices (who doesn’t want to see a buildings dynamited in slow motion?) Things sped up and slowed down, tracking shots from helicopters,and multiple exposures are all neat tricks, like a really amibitious student project. It’s Glass’s score that make parts of it transcendent. And people smoked a lot in the late 70 s.


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Sources used in this post may include: wikipedia.org, imdb.com