The Qatsi Trilogy
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
A singular artist and activist, Godfrey Reggio is best known for his galvanizing trio of films The Qatsi Trilogy. Astonishingly photographed, and featuring unforgettable, cascading scores by Philip Glass (Mishima), these are immersive sensory experiences that meditate on the havoc humankind’s fascination with technology has wreaked on our world. From 1983’s Koyaanisqatsi (the title is a Hopi word that means “life out of balance”) to 1988’s Powaqqatsi (“life in transformation”) to 2002’s Naqoyqatsi (“life as war”), Reggio takes us on an edifying journey from the ancient to the contemporary, from nature to industry and back again, all the while keeping our eyes wide with wonder.
An unorthodox work in every way, Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi was nevertheless a sensation when it was released in 1983. The film wordlessly surveys the rapidly changing environments of the northern hemisphere. The director, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass created an astonishing collage; the film shuttles the viewer from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human beings’ increasing reliance on technology. Often using hypnotic time-lapse photography, Koyaanisqatsi looks at our world from an angle unlike any other.
Five years after Godfrey Reggio stunned audiences with Koyaanisqatsi, he joined forces again with composer Philip Glass and other collaborators for a second chapter. Here, Reggio turns his sights on third world nations in the southern hemisphere. Forgoing the sped-up aesthetic of the first film, Powaqqatsi employs a meditative slow motion in order to reveal the everyday beauty of the traditional ways of life of native people in Africa, Asia, and South America, and to show how those cultures are being eroded as their environment is gradually taken over by industry. This is the most intensely spiritual segment of Reggio’s philosophical and visually remarkable Qatsi Trilogy.
Godfrey Reggio takes on the digital revolution in the final chapter of his Qatsi Trilogy, Naqoyqatsi. With a variety of cinematic techniques, including slow motion, time-lapse, and computer-generated imagery, the film tells of a world that has completely transitioned from a natural environment to a human-made one. Globalization is complete, all of our interactions are technologically mediated, and all images are manipulated. From this (virtual) reality, Reggio sculpts a frenetic yet ruminative cinematic portrait of a world that has become officially postlanguage.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I'm not technical when it comes to film, but, for lack of a better description, the Criterion transfer has rock solid frames (no jitter). In a normal movie this wouldn't be as big of a deal as it is in Koyaanisqatsi. The time-lapse filming is just transformed into something that is magnificent. Everything looks awesome and my favorite scenes are just incredible.
The contrast of the film seems to be double. I am not sure if that is more a product of the transfer or the format, but the cloudscapes and cityscapes are unbelievable. I could watch The Grid over and over again.
This is the best Blu-Ray disc. Period. If I could give it 10 I would.
Thank you Criterion!
1) The prints look better. The MGM DVD prints looked really good, but these DVDs look even better. In particular, the opening sequence of "Koyannisqatsi" is so perfect that it takes away a bit from my original experience of the film. On previous viewings, I couldn't grasp the scale of each cave shot, so I didn't know if I was looking at the side of a cliff or a tiny cave painting. That loss of a frame of reference was very important to my interpretation of the rest of the movie. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), the picture is so clear on this print that I can see the grain in the rock and can instantly ascertain the scale. Clarity takes away a bit for me, but the tradeoff is that the entire film looks stunning.
I've never seen "Powwaqatsi" in a bad print, and this one doesn't disappoint. And "Naqoyqatsi" finally looks OK, though there is still some stretching in aspect ratios, but at least it's part of the director's intent.
2) There are more extras than on the MGM DVDs, including rough pre-Glass cuts of "Koyannisqatsi" and a long overdue interview with Ron Fricke, the guy with the camera. For "Qatsi" fans, this stuff is golden.
Worth every penny. Give your old MGM DVDs to someone who hasn't seen these films.
These films were gorgeous to begin with, but Criterion's new blu-ray release allows them to look and sound better than ever before on home video. Just imagine what they're like in a theater...
The extras on this set are also fantastic. Godfrey Reggio, the director of all three films, provides much insight into the inspiration and making of the films. We also get a great interview with cinematographer/director Ron Fricke who worked on Koyaanisqatsi, as well as several other featurettes.
There is NO OTHER way that you should own these films. I have seen both the original IRE DVD transfer, as well as the MGM transfer of Koyaanisqatsi, and this Blu-Ray release blows both of those versions out of the water. Never has Ron Fricke's incredible shots for the film looked so pristine, and Glass' score shine so bright. The bonus features included on each film provided much-appreciated background and foresight into Reggio's frame of mind before, during, and after these films.
If you are a fan of these films, you simply must own this collection.
Beautiful quality. I definitely recommend picking this up.
But in about, literally, 3 seconds? I knew it wasn't the same thing. In this Criterion Collection version of this, they have stabilized the video (in most of the scenes they are 100% successful), and everything is a million times better. This is definitely the way to go. Like some other reviewers said, give your old discs to some friends who haven't seen it before.