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Naqoyqatsi is out now :D

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Naqoyqatsi is out now :D

Old 11-04-02, 07:52 AM
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Naqoyqatsi is out now :D


Motion-picture poetry that explores
By David Sterritt
At a time when commercialism has squeezed the life out of whatever
idealism American moviemaking ever had, Godfrey Reggio's career shines
like a lonely beacon.

In the early 1980s, he started a trilogy that would
break every mainstream rule ? no stories, no
characters, no dialogue ? but would carry
messages about contemporary life that he felt
moviegoers needed to hear.

Reggio has pursued this project with
persistence, and with the release of
"Naqoyqatsi" his vision is complete.

The new picture isn't the strongest of the three ?
the first, "Koyaanisqatsi," still holds that honor
? but its best moments offer a sense of
motion-picture poetry that will lift receptive
viewers out of their seats.

All three parts of the "qatsi" trilogy are
free-association documentaries exploring the
idea that humanity has fallen out of equilibrium
with the natural world, and needs to realign its
psychological and spiritual priorities if it is to
survive and prosper.

"Koyaanisqatsi" tackles this most directly, taking its title from a Hopi
Indian word meaning "life out of balance," and filling its length with images
of technology and "progress" running amok. The less compelling
"Powaqqatsi," translated as "life in transformation," explores the effects of
materialism and globalization on people in poor regions of the Earth.

"Naqoyqatsi," focusing on "life as war," has the same basic form as the
1983 and 1988 installments.

True to Reggio's original concept, his work as director of the film is equaled
by contributions of visual designer Jon Kane and composer Philip Glass,
who has written full-length scores for all three "qatsi" films.

The biggest difference between "Naqoyqatsi" and its predecessors is its
aggressive use of computer-driven special effects, which give portions of
the movie a resplendent visual punch.

Ironically, these effects are a liability as well as an asset, since they
encourage Reggio's tendency to present the problems he's warning us
about ? the dehumanizing impact of high technology and cold-hearted
commerce ? through images better at seducing our eyes than awakening
our thoughts.

Defending the unabashed beauty of his films, Reggio says their ravishing
sights and sounds help to spread his messages by drawing more viewers
than a darker treatment would attract.

This is questionable, since the same cinematic beauty that lures
moviegoers tends to dilute his cautionary ideas. But few avant-garde films
have been seen by as many people as the earlier "qatsi" installments, and
their audience will grow larger now that "Naqoyqatsi" is in theaters and
previous chapters are on video. Adventurous viewers will be watching and
debating them for years to come.
When's the DVD coming out though

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