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Koyaanisqatsi

Screening on Film
Directed by Godfrey Reggio.
US, 1982, 35mm, color, 87 min.
Print source: HFA

Godfrey Reggio spent his teenage years and much of his twenties in a monastery in Louisiana. When he made Koyaanisqatsi,not only had he never made a film, he had seen very few films. He sought out Philip Glass to score the film despite Glass only having done film music for an obscure documentary in the seventies. From this meeting a long partnership was born. While the music in Koyaanisqatsi is more varied than that in the previous programs, the repetition and drive of Riley, and the drone of Young, can both be heard at various points in the film. The combination of sped-up footage of assembly lines and city crowds with the propulsive Glass music reaches again toward the hypnotic.

In Koyaanisqatsi, Reggio is acutely concerned with technology and its effect on human relations to the natural world. Technology, in fact the dissemination of moving images themselves, is the subject of the short film Evidence, which captures children watching television in a hypnotized state, as the film’s audience is similarly hypnotized by Glass’ score.

PRECEDED BY

  • Evidence

    Directed by Godfrey Reggio.
    US, 1995, 35mm, color, 8 min.
    Print source: HFA

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Synaesthetic Cinema:
Minimalist Music and Film

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Devour the Land: Cinema, landscape, history.