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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 26 August 2017
Great. Took me back to my youth.. Amazing images.
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on 18 September 2017
i have the VCR tape of Koyaanisqatsi this is even greater quality
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on 23 May 2017
Great buy
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on 20 October 2014
very mind blowing
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on 9 March 2003
The long-awaited release on DVD of two masterpieces of modern cinema. Ground-breaking movie-making of the very highest order. Having owned poor VHS copies for many years I have yearned for this release and have not been disappointed. The "added value" of th DVD special features is a welcome bonus.
My only caveat is that when films rely so heavily, indeed are integrally MUSIC videos, that the transfer to Dolby 5.1 should be perfect. Unfortunately, that is not the case here, unless I have had a batch of faulty discs. Every one of the Powaqqatsi discs I have had has a slight break-up of sound on the rear left channel. For most listeners it would probably be unnoticeable, but for me it spoiled an otherwise impeccable release.
If it is the music which inspires you, then listen to the CD; the film is great if you can live with the sound problem. I try again to get a good copy - my love for these films is so great.
A worthy purchase.
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on 12 April 2003
This movie, in some respects, took me on an 'out-of-body' journey around the world that we live in today. Although the movie is close to 20 years old, the ideas that the movie suggest are as equally viable today. Our place in the world, how neglectful we are of our natural surroundings, our immanent route to self-destruction - all of these ideas, for me, where somewhere in this movie.
It is a beautiful movie - one cannot say more. A beautiful symbiosis of vision and sound. Fricke (Cinematographer) and Glass (Composer), with the directorship of Reggio have created a modern masterpiece. With the full extent of Glass's minimalism on audible display, the repetative nature falls perfectly into place with the nature of the visual montage.
You will be hard pressed to find a movie that will pull you in as much as this does. Within 20 mins you will be completed removed from your surroundings and experiencing what seems like another world. Buy it, turn your lights off, tell everyone else to go away, un-plug the phone, and prepare yourself for a mind-opening experience...
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on 13 January 2003
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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on 6 July 2005
I have been a member of the DVD rental club for 6 months and this is the first time I have felt compelled to write a review. What a wonderful film. I hadn't know what to expect, and maybe this helped, but I was completely drawn in by the images and music. Once I was hooked the film then took me on an emotional ride, the music gently taking me by the hand deeper and deeper into the darkenss. The absence of human voices made me feel that the message I was given had come from the heavens. And what a message, it left me stunned.
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on 5 February 2005
A strange film, this. It would be at home in an art gallery; it would be at home in the chill-out room of a club. There are no actors, there is no speaking, there are no words. Koyaanisqatsi abandons the symbolic order for a consideration of the material world, the dynamic world - and through outstanding photography and a well thought out score, it delivers a very interesting message.
The film is broadly in four parts. The first is devoted to the natural world - aerial photography of desert landscapes, boiling clouds. The second looks at human imposition on this - mining, skyscrapers, bombs. 'There is too much concrete in the world' is what Reggio seems to be saying; this ecological message is later diluted or lost, I thought, leading to an ambiguity that does not sit entirely well with the final frames explaining the title. Third are people, groups of people shot speeded up so as to be not individuals but a seething mass, flowing throughs streets as water does over rock. Here is humanity, caught between the natural world and its own mechanistic constructions - caught in the built environment, but really more organic than that. Faster and faster come the images and the music, Glass's minimalist score repeating over and over - then cut to the reflective concluding sequence.
There are some shocking images in this film - landscapes destroyed, the mechanical horror of the factory - and these all tie in to the final message that there is something wrong with the modern world, with modern life, that we are unnatural and sick. But yet the photography of city lights at night is so incredibly beautiful that I feel this critique to be softened, as how can something evil look so good? I think a lot is meant by the opening and closing image of primitive figurative drawings on a rock wall, but what does this say? Man has been imposing himself on nature since his very beginning? I am not sure. Perhaps that is the beauty of a film without words: more space to find our own meanings.
Watch Koyaanisqatsi if you are a geographer or sociologist or interested in ecology. Watch it if you are a fan of Phillip Glass and his particular type of semi-electronic minimalist classical music. Watch it if you're into avant garde film, or just have a patience for the different (watch it if you're a good Buddhist). I think Koyaanisqatsi is a film that would bore many people - even I, who liked it, found the opening half hour or so pretty slow - who would rather it to be background wallpaper than the focus of attention. There is no story, after all. It is a film to be watched alone, in the calm, a film to relax into. Wait, and it'll absorb you.
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on 13 January 2003
When Koyaanisqatsi (Crazy Life) was first relesed nearly 20 years ago it was groundbreaking. It's sequel Powaqqatsi (Sorcerer Life) even more so. If you have a strange feeling of Deja-vu when watching these films it's probably because the images and the cinematography pioneered by Godfrey Regio and Ron Frick and the stunning original score by Philip Glass and his ensenble has been shamelessy appropriated by just about everybody. These three geniuses have, with these films, presented us with a totally different way of looking at life.
The DVD re-release of these is timely; The third part of the trilogy Naqoyqatsi (Life as War) was recently released. The DVD contains not only the films themselves, but documetary footage with the principle auteurs explaining the thinking behind the films and the process of making them. I would stongly recommend these to anyone and everyone. Compelling, thought provoking, challenging, beutiful, haunting; Cinema doesn't get any better than this and these DVDs capture the power of the films beutifully.
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