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The Best Trilogy On (or about) Earth,
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This review is from: The Qatsi Trilogy (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is obviously not a review of the Blu-ray set, but a comment on the release of this amazing trilogy. I have been waiting since the dawn of time (okay, the dawn of blu-rays) for this to be released in this format. And to find out that Criterion will be putting them out leaves me in a state of sheer joy!
Three of my favorite films of all time, "The Qatsi Trilogy" is a work of art that virtually nothing else can compare to. A series of gorgeous films, not documentaries (though some have called them this) but moving, living art, that depicts man and Earth's relationship, man and society's relationship, and man and machine's relationship.
"Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance" delves into the beauty of the planet, and man's intrusion upon it. As in all three films, time lapse photography, stunning aerial footage, and some of the most brilliant cinematography you will ever witness (by Ron Fricke, director of Baraka, which is a distillation of this trilogy in my eyes), will keep you in awe and wonder, from first frame to last.
Add to that, three lush soundtracks by Phillip Glass (with an amazing performance by Yo-Yo Ma on "Naqoyqatsi") and Godfrey Reggio's stunning vision, captured and created over two decades, and you have a stellar work of art, that is truly incomparable. There is no dialogue in ANY of these films, but an epic tale is told nonetheless.
"Powaqatsi - Life in Transformation" reaches back to ancient civilization and on into the present, questioning everything we refer to as "progress." What is the price we pay for "advancement," and how do we (and the planet) lose out by the steps we take to move forward?
"Naqoyqatsi - Life as War" brings us into the computer age, where technology, war, and the threat of war, is infused into every aspect of our lives. It makes a point of revealing how we have learned, and accepted, to rely on machinery to run our lives and often run amok. While I haven't had three decades to delve into this film, as I have "Koyaaniqatsi," I am sure that there is so much more for me to learn, and decipher, from this amazing piece of work. Though still managing to be stunningly beautiful, I have found this the hardest of the trilogy to watch, the sense of doom and devastation being palpable throughout.
I hope this helps those wondering what "The Qatsi trilogy" is, and I cannot recommend any films more than I can these. I am a photographer, and I KNOW that these films have guided me, and helped create my artistic vision more than anything else in my life.
I believe that anyone that loves film, anyone that feels the loss humanity has experienced as we move further away from a society based upon nature and "being at one" with the planet, and anyone that does not need dialogue to have a story told to you, will adore these films as much as I have. Do not hesitate to make this trilogy a part of your collection, you cannot go wrong when a masterpiece is being offered to you.
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Initial post: Nov 7, 2012 8:09:38 PM PST
Sally L Buttshaw says:
you are right about the impact these films have, I have seen the first two and they are fantastic
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