8.3/10
27,833
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:
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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

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Taglines:

Until now, you've never really seen the world you live in. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

24 August 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There's an inherent homage to Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. There's a similar long highway shot used in his film Solaris (1972). 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

Featured in Scrubs: My New God (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the most brilliant movies ever made!
5 November 2003 | by (Lyngby, Denmark) – See all my reviews

This is a stunningly beautiful movie. The music by Phillip Glass is just a work of pure genius. I can watch this movie again and again. The final sequence of the Hobi legend's judgment where the container falls from the sky is just unbelievable. How was it filmed? It's so amazing. If you have not seen this film watch it - again and again! This must be the only movie which in a powerful way, far better than, say, "Apocalypse Now", sums up why our current "civilization" might be heading for destruction. Moreover, "Koyaanisquatsi" "defamiliarizes" the world and humanity allowing the viewer to benefit from a "verfremdung" viewpoint. In other words, we learn so much about our own life and life in general by watching it from this entirely new viewpoint of "Koyannisqautsi", where fast motion is used extensively. What is mankind about? Why are we moving so fast? Towards what goal? What is nature? What is the driving force of nature? What is the pulse of the earth? What is our relation with ourselves, nature and other people and animals? Moreover, I think this movie is better than the sequel "Powaquatsi". Anyway, I cannot emphasize enough how brilliant "Koyaanisqatsi" is. Watch it! Watch it! Watch it!


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