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Koyaanisqatsi / Powaqqatsi

Mesmorising and hypnotic

(Edit) 28/12/2008

Beautiful, hypnotic and, at times menacing, Koyaanisqatsi is a film of images recorded using time lapse photography set to the trance-like rhythms of a Philip Glass score. The film passes from the elemental, filmed in the vast American landscapes, and proceeds into the hurly burly cityscapes of modern American. The vast rocky expanse of the Canyonlands National Park awe through their timeless existence whilst the teaming cities rush towards exhaustion. In the modern world, the precision and dexterity of hotdog packing machines, traffic control systems and the mechanical assembly line contrast with the chaotic ballet of commuters, city traffic and assembly line workers. Throughout the film an underlying spirituality is maintained through the cathedral organ and Gregorian chants which bring calm to Glass’ hectic score, these are juxtaposed with pictograms sketched onto rocks by Fremont Indians suggesting a past unconscious of the nuclear future to come. This is a film without words but which speaks volumes.

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