8.3/10
32,398
200 user 88 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 »

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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Marilyn Chambers ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Lou Dobbs ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ted Koppel ... 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:

October 4, 1982. More than 5,000 people filled the sold out Radio City Music Hall to experience a remarkable film event. That event was the world premiere of KOYAANISQATSI. Now everyone can share the power of that experience. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Qatsi Trilogy site

Country:

USA

Language:

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The music video of "Hard to Explain" by _The Strokes features several scenes from this film along with clips from WarGames (1983) and Brainstorm (1983). 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Prior to end credits translation of the title and Hopi prophecies heard in the film are given. See more »

Connections

Featured in Essence of Life (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Clouds
Written by Philip Glass
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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