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Koyaanisqatsi/Powaqqatsi 1988 Subtitles


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Double bill featuring two of the films produced by the acclaimed partnership of composer Philip Glass and filmmaker Godfrey Reggio. 'Koyaanisqatsi' (1983) features American land- and cityscapes, often shown in slow or fast motion, in an visionary meditation on the American way of life as a 'life out of balance'. 'Powaqqatsi' (1988) uses the same format but turns its attention to the Third World and the question of a way of life that consumes the life forces of other beings in order to further itself.

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Product Details

  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 2 hours 59 minutes
Director Godfrey Reggio
Studio Arrow Films
Rental release 12 May 2014
Main languages English
Subtitles Dutch, Greek, Spanish, German, Turkish, English, Italian, Hungarian, French

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Director Godfrey Reggio and Composer Phillip Glass collaborated on a number of "movies without words". This DVD includes "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Powaqqatsi". Both have a similar approach. The most legendary of the two is Koyaanisqatsi, and this disk is worth getting, just to have that movie.
Koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi Indian word, one of its meanings being "Life Out of Balance". This is a little misleading, since principally what Reggio is portraying in this film is the effect of machines and technology on people, and where we fit in to it. I say "what Reggio is portraying", but that is inaccurate. It is really what Reggio _and_ Phillip Glass, the soundtrack composer, are portraying. The soundtrack through this wordless movie is continuous and is as important as the images. If you have never heard Phillip Glass' music before, it is a sort of repetitive classical music called "process" music or "minimalist". It works through repetition, hypnotic effects and dynamic build-up. It can be very very effective.
In fact in this movie the music has an almost drug-like effect. During the slower scenes of the movie, there is slower repetitive music, and I felt myself relaxing into it. But during the very fast scenes in the movie, the music is ridiculously fast, and the effect is very invigorating. I almost felt like punching the air at times!
So what exactly are these scenes? Well they are slow panning, slow-motion, fast motion, and normal motion scenes of nature, technology, people, cities, etc. If you have seen the movie "Baraka" you may know what I'm talking about (Koyaanisqatsi created a genre, of which Baraka has become a part).
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Format: DVD
I watched this film yesterday. I felt like the bottom dropped out of my world, and when it finished my heart was twice the size it had been before. Sharpy and I just sat while the credits rolled, it didn't feel appropriate to move. After everyone had left we walked home in silence.
It was gut wrenchingly beautiful and saddening. For the first 20 minutes I thought it was going to be purely aesthetic...trying to decide whether what you can see is clouds or the sea is a little strange...but when, after 20 minutes of watching footage of some of the bleakest uninhabited landscapes on the planet, you get a closeup of the oil mining industry, it feels like a punch in the stomach.Speeded up shots of spaghetti junctions make the traffic look like red blood cells in the biology videos we used to watch in class. A closeup of an old womans hand with an IV drip and bloodstained tape holding it in place...she reaches out her hand to the nurse changing her IV and the nurse takes her hand for a second. Then you can see, but it's almost imperceptible, the nurses grip loosen as she's about to let go, and every part of you is begging her not to, but you never see. The shot changes before she lets go of the old womans hand. And you know she did, because you could see she was going to, but the tension that was in your body doesn't leave with that knowledge. Sunbathers on a beach overlooked by a factory. Tourists in the factory taking pictures.

It's impossible to describe how a film with no dialogue and essentially no plot, made of a series of pieces of footage put together with a soundtrack comprising mostly an organ and some bass singers can affect someone this much. So watch it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the most beautifully crafted films I've seen in a long time.
Every image is rich and vivid in terms of aural and visual aesthetics, as well as conveying a strong underlying message or idea regarding life (qatsi).
The film poses questions regarding the essence of our nature that in a progressing society, has become so infused with the advancement of technology. Has life become that of a series of machinizations, souless, and confined to structure? Godfrey Reggio reminds us that there are parts of the world, aspects of life, which are still untainted by technological development. That society still has the ability to be spiritual and organic. Some images juxtaposing the creations of man and god are so profound and excellently filmed that they become moving in their poignancy.
Phillip Glass' musical score gives Kayaanisqatsi an almost hypnotic quality, ranging in density to fit the sequences of image and moods.
This film is not boring or arbitrary, however the meaning is always going to be purely subjective in regards to the audience. I recommend Koyaanisqatsi because a sign of great filmmaking is being able to create a work that will leave no one indifferent to.
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By A Customer on 13 Jan. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Twenty years after it's first release, Koyaanisqatsi is still a unique and ground-breaking combination of video footage.
Until you have seen these films, you cannot begin to appreciate how much the techniques pioneered by Godfrey Reggio in filming these productions have influenced so much televisual imagery over the past two decades.
Arty pretentiousness aside, I think that everyone should be MADE to watch Koyaanisqatsi - not because it is profound, but because it is, just simply, beautiful.
Within these films time-lapse filming (speeding-up the very slow) and slow-motion has been targeted at subject matter with such genius that it is impossible not to view both the natural world, and technically-laden humanity, in a different light.
Cutting to the chase, let's clarify what's on offer here.
The films in the Koyaanisqatsi trilogy are NOT standard Hollywood feature-film productions - these films essentially are breath-taking video footage married very well to a soundtrack of looped music...
The films in the Koyaanisqatsi trilogy are NOT aimed at any age group, culture, or creed - assuming you are open-minded and (initially) patient most people will be glad they have watched them.
The films in the Koyaanisqatsi trilogy ARE essential to anyone who has a home cinema, and occasionally wants to watch something a little different.
No bad language (no dialog at all), no violence and sex (difficult with no cast to speak of), and yet profound and totally watchable.
How many films can this be said of?
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