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2002, Society  -   22 Comments
Ratings: 6.00/10from 6 users.

Naqoyqatsi (2002)First-time filmmaker Godfrey Reggio's experimental documentary from 1983--shot mostly in the desert Southwest and New York City on a tiny budget with no script, then attracting the support of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas and enlisting the indispensable musical contribution of Philip Glass--delighted college students on the midnight circuit and fans of minimalism for many years.

Meanwhile, its techniques, merging cinematographer Ron Fricke's time-lapse shots (alternately peripatetic and hyperspeed) with Glass's reiterative music (from the meditative to the orgiastic)--as well as its ecology-minded imagery--crept into the consciousness of popular culture. The influence of Koyaanisqatsi, or "life out of balance," has by now become unmistakable in television advertisements, music videos, and, of course, similar movies such as Fricke's own Chronos and Craig McCourry's Apogee. Reggio shot a sequel, Powaqqatsi (1988), and completed the trilogy with Naqoyqatsi (2002). Koyaanisqatsi provides the uninitiated the chance to see where it all started--along with an intense audiovisual rush.

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22 Comments / User Reviews

  1. JustMe

    I don't know how to explain but you just can't stop watching it once you started.

  2. sonicpix

    I saw this in the theatre and bought it. I've seen all three qatsi movies. I never would have called this a documentary. It's film as an art form. All three are amazing and beautiful.

  3. CherryBombpop

    I first saw Kotaanisqatsi in the 80's and it's been in my top ten movies ever since. It was pivotal in my transformation into a young environmental activist. It IS a documentary, if you sit through the whole thing and take in its message. If you really can't sit through this movie, I suggest you cut down on your caffeine intake. But seriously, why can't you slow down a little and just watch it through to get the message? I guess if it's not stuffed with dialogue, if you're not being spoon-fed the meaning all the way through, then you aren't interested. Spoiled. Too bad, since it's very inspiring and informative, it its unique way. The music is amazing, the visuals are of my all time favorites. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this at least once in their life.

  4. Victor Toledo

    All of you are so inmerse in those set of images that you can not take your mindset appart and see a complete artificial world. The message is simple, the image are powerfull, your minds are astray...

  5. Dr. Dunkleosteus

    A shame that such a true and noble endeavor goes ignored by those with such little patience.

    A more perfect telling of reality, our reality, and how we built it around ourselves so quickly and without even realizing what we have done, I have yet to find.

    Dr. D

  6. SK3PT1K

    Well I was about 30 seconds into the first "doc" and I had to click ahead... Only to realize that it never really got any better. I can see how some may like this different "style" of presentation, but as far as I'm concerned this was simply art, not a documentary. (even though it may have proved thought provoking for some)

  7. John

    I fell asleep during the first one, watched a few bits of the rest and realized this wasn't going to be much fun unless I could find some LSD. Might be interesting to watch coming down from coke or X. So I'll watch these later, although I'll have to find a version with much better video quality.

  8. Mutt

    These movies got a lot of hype from people I know. While I appreciate what is presented in the films, they didn't live up to my expectations. There are films like Baraka and even some narrated films that center on high-definition footage that are much better in my opinion. Philip Glass seems an apt fit for these scores, though, and I liked finding out what the titles mean at the end along with the quotes. Still it was a LONG and arduous trek for the tidbits of brilliance presented.

  9. joachim

    .....I really hope that this film unviels the seemingly hidden spirit of so many in the quest as I for.... who are we, why are we here, where are we going & how do we get there? Or are we actually at our destination in this moment?

    .....I'm 56 now and did'nt log on to one of these rigs till about 3 yr's ago. at which time without the help of sites like T.D.F. and Vlatko, I would still be watching mainstream news and all the other mind altering (to the point of brain dead) programming that is offered...

    .....This film just reinforces that we really do create our shared reality through this collective conciousness... It seems apparent that our thought patterns have shaped that which, the very same conciousness must reassemble to alter the present path percieved of animate or inanimate life on mother earth.

    .....I agree with many that we are in the 11:11 time on the 12 Hr clock as we pass through the illusion of time..

    .....I also found it interesting that one of the Hopi translations at the end of Koyannisquatsi stated that "Near the day of purification there will be cob webs spun back and forth in the sky" check out "CHEMTRAILS" and see if they don't resemble cobwebs? And why would they put on a display over Vancouver Isle on occasion?

    .....Vlatco I think that TDF should still have a category titled Spirituallity/New Age....alongside Organized Religon. Seems these days alot of folks would focus on a possible unorganized, but viable alternative for some. Rather than more explanations & history from the church and the ultimate religion deemed the economy.

    .....Videos like this have been given freely.....I think's I'll pass this and others on till I get complaints (none yet)


  10. fas

    haha! not gonna watch this one based on the reviews

  11. roland gopel

    there are words for this ..... profound
    and another one i just made up ..... perspectifying

    and to be fair to the first few posts here, i think you do have to see them pretty much in order.

    i enjoyed immensely ....

  12. Murat KIRAN

    GOD said > ULTIMATE I have is LIFE, ULTIMATE I want is IMMORTALITY, BORING... there came BIG BANG !

  13. CivEng

    I really enjoyed Koyaanisqatsi. It has very nice filming and is a fantastic video for self reflection. The title means "a state of life that calls for another way of living" in the Hopi language, according to Wikipedia.

    I love the scene at around 1:17:00. Combined with the audio, it felt very powerful.

  14. esmuziq

    damn amzing images
    reminds me of the documentary earth

    i always love those sky images

    i find it amazing that this dude has done this so long ago

    the first video
    if you look at the cars and people ... must be filmed in 1970's or 80's

  15. Dr. Dunkleosteus

    Haha, well while I don't support or denounce drug use of any kind, watching these films under the influence of psychedelics can be a very powerful and life-affirming experience. In fact, my first viewing of koyaanisqatsi and my first experience with a psychedelic substance somehow came together in one night of jaw-dropping revelation.

    I love Baraka too! I feel like it shows less of the day-to-day craziness in the western world that koyaanisqatsi shows and more of a global craziness in terms of religious practices and cultural traditions.

    Thank you vlatko so much for putting these up! Proof that this site is the growing mecca for all things intellectual.

    I haven't watched powaqqatsi in so long, I think I'll spend tomorrow evening watching it again.

  16. Capricious

    I fully agree with Dunkleosteus. Koyaanisqatsi has changed my life and just about everyone elses I've shown the film to. Yes, it is done in a COMPLETELY different and almost unusual manner. There is no narriation, and the music is authentic and from all over the globe.

    I highly, HIGHLY suggest if you have access to LSD to watching these films while dosing. Another profoundly amazing film of the same genre, (one which I personally think is even better), is a film titled Baraka. It is the most amazing experience I have ever had in my 30 years.

  17. Vlatko

    OK Dr. Dunkleosteus, all those docs are up. Cheers.

  18. Dr. Dunkleosteus

    If everyone could take one thing away from my little comment here, PLEASE do not assume so quickly that this doc is garbage.

    A. It's streamed, so the quality is gonna suck.
    B. It's the third in a trilogy and the other two aren't on here.
    C. If you were looking for some kind of story-line or plot, you will be disappointed, as these films serve only as a reflection of the human race, letting the viewer decide how they feel about themselves and human life. There is a lot going on and it requires MANY viewings to understand what is being said about humanity, as it is purely through imagery, music score, and editting that the "message" is conveyed.

    This is actually a very profound documentary, one which expands quite heavily on the previous two in the series. It's sad that Koyaanisqatsi isn't on here, as that one MUST be watched first. It is the most linear and understandable. Reggio, Coppola (that's right THE Francis Ford Coppola), Fricke, and Glass have created an experience through these three films that I believe is the single most important of my life.

    I really wish that the other two were on here and hopefully Vlatko can find them somewhere, but words can't describe my love and facination with this trilogy. Koyaanisqatsi in particular has changed my life forever.

    PLEASE do yourself a favor and watch Koyaanisqatsi. Then you can come back to this doc and make judgements.

    Baraka is a doc on this site (along with a similar, but not nearly as powerful doc called Chronos) that is a good one to watch if this one didn't make sense or didn't do it for you.

  19. Ordersomepizza

    I'm pretty open minded about film concepts, but this is a terrible film. The imagery is beautiful, but gets old really fast. It does have a way of getting its point across, but I prefer listening to others talk and give their opinions and debate like in most documentaries. This film isolates you and puts you in your own little world, which I think is not what is needed to address the world's issues: everyone in their own little world. Just my thoughts.

  20. Luci

    i've never seen a documentary presetend in such a artistic way - it's more profund,the music was great... you don't really need words and scientific explanation(maybe sometimes-but they directed very good) thank's again ;)

  21. Amy

    Couldn't watch more than 3 minutes... it was so boring. Fast forward didn't help either.

  22. Dhamija

    This is not a documentary this is rubbish.