Godfrey Reggio / United States / 1982 / 87 min / Colour
The breath of a constantly changing world represents the background to a score that gives voice to the beauty of an oscillating planet, subject to the whims of balance. The word "koyaanisqatsi", in the language of the Hopi Indians, means life without balance, but also life in turmoil. To the notes of Philip Glass, human civilisation and technological development interact with the natural landscape and the strength of the elements, showing the viewer how far man is moving away from the Nature that generated him. Assembly lines, mass tourism and endless rows of cars: humanity from above appears as a sleeping gear system. Devoid of dialogue and narrative voice, the film intersects a language of video art and leaves the power of images and sounds to lead the viewer to explore of a world of extremes, of parallel tracks destined to clash with violence, with the strength of a nuclear explosion. Godfrey Reggio directs the first feature film of the qatsi trilogy using the photography of Ron Fricke and dedicating six years of work to the shooting process. Civilisation and the evolution of man appear like tall skyscrapers, monuments to industrial development and symbols of an arrogance that takes us further and further away from the surface of the earth.
Born in New Orleans and descending from a family of Italian nobility who moved to Louisiana in the mid-eighteenth century, Godfrey Reggio made his debut behind the camera in 1982 with the first chapter of a trilogy, Koyaanisqatsi, which continued with Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi ( 2002). His stylistic innovations in the documentary sector, from the use of slow motion with musical accompaniments, have marked the history of cinema and profoundly influenced numerous authors.
Format HDSubject Ron Fricke, Michael Hoenig, Godfrey Reggio, Alton WalpoleCinematography Ron FrickeEditing Alton Walpole, Ron FrickeMusic Philip GlassProducer Godfrey ReggioProduction company Institute for Regional Education, American Zoetrope