12 items from 2014
A weirdly beautiful film, eerie in its complicated simplicity, and open to seven billion interpretations, all of them valid. I’m “biast” (pro): love Godfrey Reggio’s other films
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
When you stare into the face of an ape, the ape stares back. Filmmaker Godfrey Reggio, who made the legendarily riveting and unclassifiable Koyaanisqatsi, returns with another riveting, unclassifiable film about watching human faces watching screens… and yet he opens by inviting us to gaze at the face of a gorilla, who is seemingly gazing back at us. Her name is Triska, and she lives at the Bronx Zoo, though we only learn this by reading the credits at the end of the film. As with all the other faces here, she appears against a black background, removed from any physical or cultural context, and »
- MaryAnn Johanson
It may not be on everyone’s DVD shelf, but filmmaker Godfrey Reggio’s first film Koyaanisqatsi – released in 1982 – was a landmark piece of cinema. Comprised mainly of slow motion and time-lapse shots, the film had no narrative in the strict sense of the word, it simply observed our world, both human and natural, and left it up to the viewer to form their own ideas. Stunningly shot (cinematographer Ron Fricke went on to make similar films Baraka and Samsara), Koyaanisqatsi revolutionised techniques that we now take for granted and would be referenced in places as far afield as Grand Theft Auto, Madonna videos, and even an episode of Scrubs. Reggio followed this up with two more films to complete the Qatsi trilogy and now returns three decades later with Visitors, a film similar in concept, but completely different in its execution.
Filmed in a low-key, velvety black-and-white, Visitors runs »
- Matt Seton
Visitors is visually sumptuous, luxurious, like a club-class airline seat
Godfrey Reggio's bold and brilliant Koyaanisqatsi in 1982, and its sequels, offered us a sensuous, non-narrative trance experience, and Reggio found his ideas and visual language being pinched by the larcenous creatives of the ad industry. Now he has returned with a film that has some gorgeous images, but a touch of self-pastiche. Visitors is visually sumptuous, luxurious, like a club-class airline seat, but I wonder about that Philip Glass score, in all its familiar relentlessness. I even heretically wonder if Reggio might even have been influenced a little by all those Nike-like ads that he inspired. Visitors is composed chiefly of slo-mo shots of faces staring directly into the camera, their eerily slow blinks being the sole perceptible movement. They are evidently watching TV or a video game, though we don't hear that we get the Glass score. At one stage, »
- Peter Bradshaw
In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool! Back when it was simply named Best Sound (and when its sister award, Best Sound Editing, had only three nominees), Best Sound Mixing was seen as the more prestigious of the two prizes -- though still, many people are unsure as to what the difference between them is. By usually compiling heavily overlapping fields, the Academy rarely helps to establish the distinction, and so it is this year: four of this year's Best Sound Mixing nominees are also up for Best Sound Editing, and in another Academy tradition, they're all action fare of some sort. The fifth is a music-based film, though »
- Guy Lodge
One of the most influential composers in 20th-century music, Philip Glass reteams with director Godfrey Reggio for the fourth time for the new movie Visitors, now playing in L.A. Story: How 'Nebraska's' Composer Wrote Americana Music Without 'Banjo Plucking' Their first collaboration, the landmark Koyaanisqatsi, became a favorite of the midnight stoner set when it came out in 1983, but has lived on to become a landmark in abstract filmmaking with its high-speed visions of city life and the chaos of a mechanized world. Sequels Powaqqatis and Naqoyqatsi employed similar visual techniques, but the pair’s latest collaboration,
- Jordan Riefe
"The stunningly photographed, often difficult, always transfixing film was not the most satisfying creation on display at Tiff, or for many cinemagoers, its most alluring. But it was without question its most important," correspondent Christopher Schobert wrote in his review of Godfrey Reggio's "Visitors" from Toronto last fall. "Here is a movie that defies simple interpretation and renders reviews—this one included—almost meaningless." And it's hardly a surprise the man behind the still influential trilogy "Koyaanisqatsi," "Powaqqatsi" and "Naqoyqatsi" has once again created a cinematic experience that is beyond words. But to help provide you with context, we've got a pretty terrific 8-minute, behind-the-scenes look at the movie, featuring along with the filmmaker, the participation of Steven Soderbergh (who is "presenting" the film), composer Philip Glass, editor Jon Kane and is narrated by musician/performance artist Laurie Anderson. And it's fascinating stuff. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
I can’t wait to stare at this rapturously.
This opened on one screen in New York City on Friday, and is getting a tiny release in Canada starting this Friday. See the official site for more cities it will expand to over the coming weeks.
- MaryAnn Johanson
“Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face,” said the great Carl Theodor Dreyer, and in his transfixing, perplexing new film, Visitors, Godfrey Reggio seems to be taking this sentiment to heart. Reggio is the enigmatic monk turned visionary filmmaker who in 1980 revolutionized cinema with Koyaanisqatsi, an Olympian montage of immaculately captured documentary footage portraying the beauty, horror, and enormity of life on Earth, all set to an iconic soundtrack by Philip Glass. The film was a lament for a world at odds with nature, but it was also so hypnotic and gorgeous and unshakeable that Reggio’s style of filming and editing quickly became embraced by advertising; its pervasive influence can still be felt today.Undeterred by what he called “the Beast” appropriating his language, Reggio made two more films in what would be called the Qatsi Trilogy. His latest is still very much in that »
- Bilge Ebiri
Koyaanisqatsi (1982), a genre-defining, landmark film that features stunning time-lapse photography and a hypnotic score by Philip Glass, expanded the boundaries of film. It garnered a cult following and spawned countless imitators in the commercial, documentary and narrative film worlds (most recently, Samsara). Its director, Godfrey Reggio, followed it with Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002) to complete the long intended trilogy.Reggio insists his films are not experimental, but rather, experiential. He asserts this notion again with Visitors, his first new film in more than ten years. It's a visual tone poem presented in stunning monochrome 4K. Like his previous -qatsi trilogy, the 'life unbalanced' theme is still present. But consisting of only 74 shots, the film is a much more graceful, subtle, abstract experience. As...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
New Release Gimme Shelter PG-13, 1 Hr., 40 Mins. Apathy abounds in Ronald Krauss’ Doa snorer about a pregnant teen (Vanessa Hudgens) tracking down her birth father (Brendan Fraser). Hudgens competently recites fill-in-the-angst monologues and Rosario Dawson finds surprising depth as her addict mother, but no one escapes Krauss’ script, which drops every hollow cliché of troubled teens into a movie you swear you’ve seen better versions of a hundred times before. C- —Marc SnetikerNEW Release Visitors Not Rated, 1 Hr., 27 Mins. Thirty years ago, Godfrey Reggio directed Koyaanisqatsi — a cult stoner classic that used time-lapse photography and a hypnotic Philip Glass »
- EW staff
Watching a Godfrey Reggio movie is like hearing somebody brag about not owning a TV — it's insufferable as much for being sanctimonious as for being utterly clichéd.
Reggio remains best known for Koyaanisqatsi, a nonfiction film whose time-lapse cityscape photography and grandly arpeggiated score drew attention away from its shallow, self-righteous thesis.
You may recall the film's original subheading: "Life Out of Balance," the title's English translation and a point underlined, in one montage of contemporary disorder after another, in the thickest felt tip pen.
Alas, life hasn't straightened itself out much in the 32 years since Koyaanisqatsi — and Reggio hasn't grown any less tiresomely indignant. The complaints lev »
A girl wears her necklace off-center, a mouth quivers, freckles form constellations on a curious nose. When is there life in a face? Where it goes when it disappears and how fingers become ducks without eyes talking is what can move us in Visitors.
Glass, who collaborated with Reggio on five previous films - Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, Anima Mundi, Evidence, and Naqoyqatsi - described the unique way they work together. "Godfrey is very skillful in taking the technology and figuring out what to do with it…We've done six movies together and every time he says 'I want something completely different.' The music making and the »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
12 items from 2014
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