Saturday, December 8, 2007

Imagined Futures in Sci-fi: Koyaanisqatsi

I am taking a course called "Utopia/Dystopia: Imagined Futures in Sci-fi" which focuses on science fiction films from the fifties to the present. I will be writing a few words about each of the films I watch in class.

Directed by Godfrey Reggio
Released September 14, 1983

I suppose it is only fitting that the last film for this course would be an 80 minute collection of images and music by Philip Glass purposefully devoid of any characters, dialogue, or plot. It is absolutely interesting, and I managed not to look away for the entire runtime, though sleep was a frequent consideration. The film, which gets its title from the Hopi language and means "life out of balance", honestly requires too much thinking for me. I love a good movie that gets under the skin and makes you reconsider a lot of things, but this is quite lengthy for what it is and can hardly be compared to anything else. I once made a short film that was similar in the sense that it had strong music, no characters, dialogue, or plot, but it was five and a half minutes long. This certainly gets you thinking, but ultimately I left feeling confused. I think that may have been the intention. Worth a look though if you can make it through it without looking away or falling asleep. IMDB categorizes it as a documentary, which I do not agree with, but it is certainly experimental. The music is quite cool.

B- (not that it is really possible to grade this one)

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