Filmed in locations around the world, this brilliant series gives us a new perspective on the human condition in purely visual and musical sensations. Using a variety of photographic techniques such as time-lapse, slow motion, fast motion, dissolves and with no story or narration, the awe-inspiring images take on a profound and heightened sense of wonder, while leaving the audience to make their own interpretations.
Focusing on our destructive impact on the planet they could easily be seen as a promotion for Greenpeace. If 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was an optimistic vision of the future and man’s achievements, then The Qatsi Trilogy is its pessimistic counterpart that shows the difficult struggles and sacrifices it took to get there.
Part one, Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1982) takes us to locations all around the US and shows us the heavy toll that modern technology is having on humans and the earth.
Part two, Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation (1988) focuses on third world locations around the world and shows how traditional ways of life are rapidly being transformed and eliminated by the ever growing industrial machine.
Part three, Naqoyqatsi: Life as War (2002) takes the message to a whole new level as it focuses on the digital age and shows how images and our minds are being digitally manipulated by media advertising.
Also see Anima Mundi (1992), a short Qatsi style companion piece by the makers of The Qatsi Trilogy focusing on the animal kingdom.
These poetic meditations on life have become cult classics within the documentary genre and are made by only a hand full of very dedicated, independent film makers. People you have probably never heard of but sound vaguely familiar, people who have, with their visions, influenced many mainstream filmmakers and television commercials. These people want to make you think about what you’re watching using unique methods of image editing and offer something new to discover with every viewing. These timeless films are even more relevant now than ever and have lost none of their power.
Directed and produced by Godfrey Reggio, music composed by Philip Glass, photographed by Ron Fricke, and edited by Alton Walpole, these are just some of the people involved in the production of these amazing films. Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson were also the creators of the stunningly gorgeous Qatsi style documentary Baraka (1993) and its sequel Samsara (2011) which will be release in cinemas August 24, 2012.
If you love beautiful cinematography and exotic locations edited together in thought provoking ways using a broad array of eclectic, avant-garde music by a great modern composer, you will love this non-verbal, visual form of cinema, where sound and image is everything. Don’t miss the extraordinary experience of these inspiring films.