MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 5,001 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 22,315 users  
Reviews: 182 user | 81 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...

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 14 Jan 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 26 Feb 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 18 Dec 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 30 Dec 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 30 Jun 2013
 

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... 

Baraka (1992)
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life and religion.

Director: Ron Fricke
Chronos (1985)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Carefully picked scenes of nature and civilization are viewed at high speed using time-lapse cinematography in an effort to demonstrate the history of various regions.

Director: Ron Fricke
Anima Mundi (1992)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Image and music are intertwined in this third collaboration between director Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass. The film was produced to celebrate the World Wildlife Fund's ... See full summary »

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Samsara I (2011)
Documentary | Music
    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
Journey of Hanuman (Video 2013)
Documentary | Adventure | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

"JOURNEY OF HANUMAN" Preserves moments still existing in India that have not been disturbed by globalization and are connected with the antique spiritual knowledge of India. I wanted to ... See full summary »

Director: Lola Creel
Stars: Peter Coyote, Arun Mathai, Bekah Rife
Totality (1999)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A unique look at total eclipses, capturing the experience within the scenery of a wide range of settings around the planet, from ancient ruins to city skylines. Totality is constantly ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Mallery
Visitors (2013)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Director Godfrey Reggio reveals humanity's trance-like relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
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
Samsara (2001)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A spiritual love-story set in the majestic landscape of Ladakh, Himalayas. Samsara is a quest; one man's struggle to find spiritual Enlightenment by renouncing the world. And one woman's ... See full summary »

Director: Pan Nalin
Stars: Shawn Ku, Christy Chung, Neelesha BaVora
Naqoyqatsi (2002)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A visual montage portrait of our contemporary world dominated by globalized technology and violence.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Stars: Belladonna, Marlon Brando, Elton John
Sacred Site (1986)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Director: Ron Fricke
Evidence (1995)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A haunting look at children watching television.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
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:

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

Godfrey Reggio was hooked on Philip Glass doing the music. He approached Glass through a mutual friend, and Glass replied, "I don't do film music." Reggio persisted, and finally the friend told Glass that the tenacious guy was not going to go away without at least an audience. Glass relented, though he still insisted he wasn't doing the music. Reggio put together a photo montage with Glass' music as the soundtrack, which he presented to Glass at a private screening in New York. Immediately following the screening, Glass agreed to score the film. 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 The 11th Hour (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Out of balance
8 February 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Godfrey Reggio's magnificent documentary "Koyaanitsqatsi" was an amazing experience when it first came out more than twenty years ago. Watching for a second time, this time in DVD format, one realizes how this movie makes the case that it must be seen in the big screen in order to get all the brilliant cinematography in its proper perspective. Even watching it in a 32 plasma screen, one realizes it pales in comparison when projected on a larger movie theater screen.

The images that are presented in the film are just beyond belief. The fantastic music score by that genius, Phillip Glass, compliments and enhances our experience. This film will live forever in spite of some of the comments submitted to this forum, because it deals with universal themes that will stay with us on this planet while human life will exist. This was pioneer movie making that later on became main stream. The originality being in the way the director presents the different sections in the film with some unusual photography that, while imitated, remains the standard for comparison with any new so called latest technique and innovation.

Kudos to Mr. Reggio, Mr. Glass and the people behind this gorgeous film.


62 of 68 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
Anyone else who discovered this film after 'Watchmen' Choekaas
Definitely sucked torrentbl00d
blu-ray please robots808
Best song to represent/watch Koyaanisqatsi? Isis-61
Discuss Koyaanisqatsi (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page