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Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 22,041 users  
Reviews: 179 user | 81 critic

A movie with no conventional plot: merely a collection of expertly photographed scenes. Subject matter has a highly environmental theme.

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Title: Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Koyaanisqatsi (1982) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Cast

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

Koyaanisqatsi is a documentary (of sorts). It is also a visual concert of images set to the haunting music of 'Phillip Glass'. While there is no plot in the traditional sense, there is a definate scenario. The film opens on ancient native American cave drawings, while the soundtrack chants "Koyaanisqatsi" which is a Hopi indian term for "life out of balance". The film uses extensive time lapse photography (which speeds images up) and slow motion photography to make comparisons between different types of physical motion. In one of the first examples, we see cloud formations moving (sped up) intercut with a montage of ocean waves (slowed down) and in such a way we are able to see the similarities of movement between these natural forces. This technique of comparison exists throughout the film, and through it we learn more about the world around us. The film progresses from purely natural environments to nature as affected by man, and finally to man's own manmade environment, devoid of ... Written by Andrew M. Somers <film@myndex.com>

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

Approximately 34 minutes into the film, a series of ground-level and helicopter shots depicts an abandoned public housing project, which is demolished by implosion approximately 2 1/2 minutes later. The project is Pruitt-Igoe (misspelled in the DVD menu as "Pruit Igoe") in St. Louis, Missouri, which was completed in 1956 and torn down in 1972. The architect was Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the original World Trade Center in New York. 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

[last lines]
title card: Translation of the Hopi Prophecies sung in the film: "If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster." - "Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky." - "A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cheers: I Kid You Not (1989) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

it remains profound
20 July 2004 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

KOYAANISQATSI remains a profound statement over twenty years after its original release. the point then is the point now.

one of the great things about this film is that while the intrusion of man is initially presented as profane and abhorrent, ultimately there is found a symmetry to the human experience that is as organic as anything found in the `natural' world. i used to be tempted to perceive humans as the only species on the plant that didn't fit, that threw everything out of balance, as it were. but over time it has become apparent that even the blight of man on earth is a naturally occurring phenomenon. the evolution of life is the destruction of life. the circle is unbroken.


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