MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,247 this week

Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 20,819 users  
Reviews: 179 user | 74 critic

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

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 25 Apr 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 24 Nov 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 20 Feb 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Koyaanisqatsi" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Koyaanisqatsi (1982) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Koyaanisqatsi.

User Polls

5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Powaqqatsi (1988)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An exploration of technologically developing nations and the effect the transition to Western-style modernization has had on them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Stars: Christie Brinkley, David Brinkley, Pope John Paul II
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: David Byrne, Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robbie Robertson, Muddy Waters, Neil Young
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González
Heima (2007)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In the summer of 2006, Sigur Rós returned home to play a series of free, unannounced concerts for the people of Iceland. This film documents their already legendary tour with intimate ... See full summary »

Director: Dean DeBlois
Stars: Jon Thor Birgisson, Orri P. Dyrason, Georg Holm
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A look at the late '60s and early '70s rock band The Doors, including rare exclusive footage.

Director: Tom DiCillo
Stars: Johnny Depp, John Densmore, Robby Krieger
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary crew followed Metallica for the better part of 2001-2003, a time of tension and release for the rock band, as they recorded their album St. Anger, fought bitterly, and sought the counsel of their on-call shrink.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Stars: James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich
Shine a Light (2008)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A career-spanning documentary on the Rolling Stones, with concert footage from their "A Bigger Bang" tour.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker
Stars: Bob Dylan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A chronicle of Bob Dylan's strange evolution between 1961 and 1966 from folk singer to protest singer to "voice of a generation" to rock star.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Bob Dylan, B.J. Rolfzen, Dick Kangas
Samsara I (2011)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.

Director: Ron Fricke
Stars: Balinese Tari Legong Dancers, Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi, Puti Sri Candra Dewi
Woodstock (1970)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The film chronicle of the legendary 1969 music festival.

Director: Michael Wadleigh
Stars: Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Release Date:

24 August 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One shot of a mountain range was provided by MacGillivray-Freeman Films; the shot was leftover footage from The Shining (1980). 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 5th World (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Kind of like 2001: A Space Odyssey, but without the constant barrage of dialogue...
7 January 2003 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Koyaanisqatis is an extremely unusual film, and by far one of the most unusual I have ever seen. It takes on the daunting task of portraying the history of the world until modern times (or the early 80s, at least) entirely without dialogue. It is a documentary of sorts, in that it is amazingly informative, but it is filmed like a Hollywood film. Expertly framed shots and flawlessly smooth camera movement and shot composition. There is an unbelievable amount of talent behind this film, both in the fascinating images that are presented and the mesmerizing score by Philip Glass.

It is a very slow moving film, but it manages to keep your attention because, in many cases, it is just so interesting to see the things that are portrayed and the way that they are shown. This is the only film, for example, where you can see a shot of a 737 approaches directly toward the camera over a hot runway in a shot that is possibly over a minute long with no movement other than the sluggish lumbering of the massive plain.

Godfrey Reggio takes Glass's score and places images over it that add to the sound and create an experience that is far greater than, as they say, the sum of its parts. The shots contain camera movement or lack movement, are sped up or slowed down, and have live sound or no live sound depending on the desired effect, and the end result is absolutely hypnotic.

This is a wonderful cinematic experience for people of all ages, and possibly my favorite thing about this film and it's successors is that, because they have no dialogue, they can be shown in any country in the world and not have to worry about subtitles or even altered meanings. This is a film for humanity.


62 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I enjoyed it but didn't take it the right way. Calmest
MGM cropped release o770
blu-ray please robots808
Anyone else who discovered this film after 'Watchmen' Choekaas
Definitely sucked torrentbl00d
Best song to represent/watch Koyaanisqatsi? Isis-61
Discuss Koyaanisqatsi (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page