8.3/10
28,165
188 user 83 critic

Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Unrated | | Documentary, Music | 24 August 1983 (France)
A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
...
Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
...
Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Storyline

This experimental film looks at the world and more specifically the effect man has had on the landscape and the environment. Without narration, the film shows the world in a pristine condition and untouched: blue skies, beautiful landscapes and endless vistas. The man-made world is much less appealing. Essentially a montage using a variety of film techniques to provide a visually stunning montage of images. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

October 4, 1982. More than 5,000 people filled the sold out Radio City Music Hall to experience a remarkable film event. That event was the world premiere of KOYAANISQATSI. Now everyone can share the power of that experience. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

24 August 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The longest shot in the film, that of the two United Airlines 747s (approximately 24 minutes in), lasts over 2 1/2 minutes. See more »

Goofs

About an hour into the movie, the camera operator is reflected in the elevator's glass window as the elevator passes "between" floors while shooting the escalators. See more »

Quotes

title card: ko-yaa-nis-qatsi
[from the Hopi language]
title card: n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
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Connections

Edited into The Killing of John Lennon (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Interiorized Film
15 November 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film communicates to you from the realm beyond words. If you want to muck up the purity of the experience by letting the infernal adjective machine stamp out labels and reactive prose poems through its 80 some minutes and afterward, you may not have been the ideal candidate to see this film. It begins with Russian Orthodox style basso profundo voices enunciating the title over images of petroglyphs, and then begins its journey: From the places beyond things, rock and sky, to the things we have girded ourselves in, cities. It is a wordless, feeling thing.

Ten stars. Pity it wasn't an IMAX.


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