8.3/10
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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:

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

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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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 Hagan Reviews: Koyaanisqatsi (2014) See more »

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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.


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