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6 items from 2012

DVD Review: ‘The Qatsi Trilogy’ Still Has Power to Mesmerize

19 December 2012 1:13 PM, PST | | See recent news »

Chicago – Godfrey Reggio’s “Koyaanisqatsi,” “Powaqqatsi,” and “Naqoyqatsi” comprise one of the most fascinating trio of documentaries in the history of the form and whoever works at Criterion that decided to collect these landmark works into one Blu-ray and DVD box set deserves a raise. Not only is eash film lovingly restored for the release and accompanied by hours of special features but being able to fully appreciate “The Qatsi Trilogy” as one body of work is something all film fans should experience.

Rating: 5.0/5.0

“The Qatsi Trilogy” is more than a mere trio of documentaries. Each of the films feels more like a visual poem than a traditional piece of film work. Working with compositions by Philip Glass, Reggio uses time-lapse footage that often contrasts the natural world versus the man-made one. These are works of music and visual compositions that try to move the viewer to think or even act without words. »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Review: “The Qatsi Trilogy” (The Criterion Collection) On Blu-ray

14 December 2012 3:05 AM, PST | | See recent CinemaRetro news »


Tripping With Godfrey Reggio & Philip Glass

By Raymond Benson

When I walked out of the New York cinema in 1983 after viewing Koyaanisqatsi for the first time, I overheard someone say, “That was the trippiest movie since 2001.” I had to agree. I’d never seen anything like it, but it was a feast for the eyes and ears. I’d been mesmerized for 86 minutes, lost in a swirling and exhilarating journey through North American landscapes of deserts, canyons, skies, and big cities. Using slow motion and time lapse photography by Ron Fricke, director Godfrey Reggio presented a feature-length music video that defied categorization. Accompanied by the vibrant score by Philip Glass, the film seemed to be saying that man was screwing up nature and that we’d better watch out. Life was “out of balance,” as the Hopi Indian one-word-title of the movie meant. Koyaanisqatsi was one of the most »

- (Cinema Retro)

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Criterion Collection: The Qatsi Trilogy | Blu-ray Review

11 December 2012 9:00 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

The Qatsi Trilogy is a collection of films made by Godfrey Reggio between 1983 and 2002. Each film offers an extraordinary and unforgettable cinematic experience, and their messages are, astonishingly, even more pertinent and vital today. The visual and aural wonders of The Qatsi Trilogy fall into no preset genre or easily explainable category of filmmaking. The simplest description would be a grafting of somber political treatise with I-Max style sensory joyride.

To fully understand these unique works, one must understand the filmmaker, and his singular background and sensibilities. Godfrey Reggio is not an assembly line graduate of the USC film school. In fact, he spent the 1960s as a social worker and political activist, founding several community programs for disadvantaged youth in New Mexico. He also spent 14 years in training for the priesthood, but abandoned that quest to pursue a deeper understanding of the philosophy and mysticism of the Hopi Indians. »

- David Anderson

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'Girls', 'Bourne Legacy' and Nolan's 'Following' On DVD and Blu-ray This Week

11 December 2012 6:30 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Following (Criterion Collection) I received this and Criterion's release of The Qatsi Trilogy only yesterday evening so, no, I haven't had a chance to watch any of it, but I'm really excited to give it a watch considering the new 26-minute interview with Christopher Nolan that accompanies it. The rest of the features, including an audio commentary with Nolan, a side-by-side look at the shooting script and the film and a chronological edit of the film have all been available on DVD before. Following isn't Nolan's excellent lost film, but it is a fascinating film and a great, early look at the director that would go on to receive global acclaim for The Dark Knight and Inception... just to name a couple.


The Qatsi Trilogy (Criterion Collection) I have never seen and only heard of the three films that make up the Qatsi Trilogy -- Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. I »

- Brad Brevet

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Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Qatsi Trilogy

3 October 2012 1:59 PM, PDT | Disc Dish | See recent Disc Dish news »

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Dec. 11, 2012

Price: DVD $79.95, Blu-ray $79.95

Studio: Criterion

Filmmaker and artist, Godfrey Reggio is best known for his galvanizing trio of documentary-like “moviescape” films Koyaanisquatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi, which comprise The Qatsi Trilogy.

Astonishingly photographed, and featuring unforgettably hypnotic musical scores by Philip Glass (Mishima), the three films are immersive sensory experiences that meditate on the havoc humankind’s fascination with technology has wreaked on our world. From 1983’s Koyaanisqatsi (the title is a Hopi word that means “life out of balance”) to 1988’s Powaqqatsi (“life in transformation”) to 2002’s Naqoyqatsi (“life as war”), Reggio takes viewers on a journey from the ancient to the contemporary, from nature to industry and back again, all the while keeping our eyes wide with wonder.

Technology overruns the world in 2002's Naqoyqatsi.

Here’s a breakdown on the three films:

Koyaanisquatsi (1983)

A sensation when it was released in the early 1980s. »

- Laurence

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Philip Glass @ 75

1 February 2012 9:16 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Besides the two dozen operas, the symphonies, concertos and solo works, Philip Glass, who turns 75 today, has composed literally scores of scores for films, beginning most famously with Koyaanisqatsi (1982), an essay film as dependent on its music as any other. Glass and Godfrey Reggio would complete the trilogy with Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002). Another crucial cinematic collaboration has been with Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line (1988), The Fog of War (2003)), and other notable scores would be, for example, those for Paul Schrader's Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985; sample it here) and Martin Scorsese's Kundun (1997). And whatever you think of Stephen Daldry's The Hours (2002) — and chances are, if you're reading this, you may not think much of it at all — that soundtrack, aimed straight at the mainstream and nominated for an Oscar, holds up better than you might remember.

"Glass is the only living classical composer with anything »

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