Naqoyqatsi

"Extraordinary"

Naqoyqatsi Review


Godfrey Reggio's prophetic visions of the state of the world and its habitants are brought to stunning vividness in the third chapter of the Qatsi documentary series, Naqoyqatsi. A harrowing exploration of man's slow devolution through science, technology, and warfare in the forms of raw stock footage, computer animation, military training videos, and major conglomerate product commercials, the film is a true sight to behold.

The term "Naqoyqatsi" is derived from the Hopi word meaning "life as war." The two previous entries of this series - Koyaanisqatsi (life out of balance) and Powaqqatsi (life in transistion) - were groundbreaking pieces of non-narrative filmmaking employing startling imagery married with the haunting sounds of composer Philip Glass. A decade in the making, Naqoyqatsi only came to fruition through the help of executive producer Steven Soderbergh, who read a magazine article about the film's inability to find a distributor and volunteered his help without even seeing one frame of the film.

Naqoyqatsi plays out as a dark and brooding piece of non-narrative cinema attacking technology and its masters. First we are led through a dark and mysterious tunnel of lights and images, stimulating the viewer to open up their minds and souls. The calm waters of animated oceans and seas are then contrasted with stock market madness, information streams of ones and zeros, computer monitors blinking in dizzy arrays, and the endless shuffling of people in herds down anonymous streets.

The brooding sounds of Philip Glass' compositions accompanied by the haunting cello work of Yo-Yo Ma bring a balance to the endless streams of imagery delivered by the film. Director Godfrey Reggio's constant shifts from natural environments to mechanical situations are dazzling. Reggio manages to illustrate the rebirth of the world through the continuing expansion of technology in our lives. With elements such as street war, police brutality, military conflicts, corporate logos, and national figures such as George W. Bush and Colin Powell, the film presents visceral and dangerously honest revelations about the men and machines behind the curtains of our planet.

The DVD includes interviews with executive producer Steven Soderbergh (who basically admits he can't make a lick of sense out of the movie) plus a conversation between Glass and Ma. Trailers for the other two Qatsi movies are also present in case you'd like to see what you missed.

He's gonna dunk!



Naqoyqatsi

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 21st January 2003

Box Office Worldwide: $13.3 thousand

Budget: $3M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Qatsi Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Fresh: 25 Rotten: 27

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Godfrey Reggio

Producer: Joe Beirne, Lawrence Taub

Also starring:

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