8.3/10
35,559
215 user 89 critic

Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | | 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.

Director:

Godfrey Reggio

Writers:

Ron Fricke (scenario), Godfrey Reggio (scenario) | 7 more credits »
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Edward Asner ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Pat Benatar ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jerry Brown ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Johnny Carson ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Dick Cavett ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Marilyn Chambers ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Lou Dobbs ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Thomas Dolby ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Linda Ellerbee ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jerry Falwell ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Mark J. Goodman Mark J. Goodman ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ted Koppel ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Peter Sellers ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Bill Tush Bill Tush ... Self - On TV (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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The choral piece near the end of the film, "Prophecies", is sung in the Hopi dialect. The translation is: "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 »

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

Choir: Koyaanisqatsi - Koyaanisqatsi - Koyaanisqatsi - Koyaanisqatsi - Koyaanisqatsi...
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Crazy Credits

End credits go over mashed voice recordings in English ranging from call operator answers to television news. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: We Are the Strange (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Resource
Written by Philip Glass
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User Reviews

 
Breathtaking
25 March 2005 | by epsilon3See all my reviews

Make no mistake -- you need to get into the right mood to properly enjoy this film. Try watching it with your cynical or populist friends and they'll pour scorn upon it. Don't try to convince others to 'get it' as they won't.

The best thing to do is to turn off all of the lights, pump up the sound and absorb yourself in the spectacle that unfolds on the screen. If you do this, you'll experience one of the most breathtaking, moving and exciting pieces of art ever. There are few films that reach these heights -- 2001: A Space Odyssey is the only one that instantly comes to mind.

Don't analyse it until it's finished. Talking through it will ruin it. I've found that the film works best on an emotional level so switch your brain off and just watch and listen. By the time it's finished, you'll feel like you've been on an exhausting and exhilarating journey that you'll want to take again not long afterwards.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Qatsi Trilogy site

Country:

USA

Language:

None | Hopi | English

Release Date:

24 August 1983 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,723,872

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,723,872
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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