Thursday, June 16, 2005

Koyaanisqatsi (1983)

Last night I watched an incredibly beautiful film, Koyaanisqatsi which is a Hopi word meaning "life out of balance" or "a life that calls for another way of living". The film consists of a series of landscapes which contrast awe-inspiring sweeping panoramics of vast green hills, clouds and oceans with the bustle of urban cityscapes. In the second half of the film huge skyscrapers tower over the city, cars zoom past and bright neon lights flicker on and off. The buzz,whirr and speed of industrialisation and urbanisation is also reflected by a change of pace in the Phillip Glass soundtrack - this section is by far the most intense bit of the film.
The soundtrack is actually a constant, haunting, apocalyptic chant in the Hopi dialect which fits perfectly with the visual images shown,
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster. Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky. A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."

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