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Naqoyqatsi (2002)

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A visual montage portrait of our contemporary world dominated by globalized technology and violence.

Director:

Godfrey Reggio

Writer:

Godfrey Reggio

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Cast

Credited cast:
Belladonna ... Herself
Marlon Brando ... Himself (archive footage)
Elton John ... Himself (archive footage)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Herself (archive footage)
Madonna ... Herself (archive footage)
Bhagwan Mirchandani ... Business Man
Jack Shamblin ... Atomic Adam
Steven Soderbergh ... Man Reflected in Digital Screens (3rd segment)
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Storyline

In this cinematic concert, mesmerizing images are plucked from everyday reality, then visually altered with state-of-the-art digital techniques. The result is a chronicle of the shift from a world organized by the principles of nature to one dominated by technology, the synthetic and the virtual. Extremes of intimacy and spectacle, tragedy and hope fuse in a tidal wave of visuals and music, giving rise to a unique, artistic experience that reflects the vision of a brave new globalized world. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America is test-driving the future. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violent and disturbing images, and for brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 January 2003 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Naqoyqatsi: Life as War See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,154, 20 October 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$133,058

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$155,640
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax,Qatsi Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the end credits, the title is pronounced nah-koy-kahtsee. See more »

Crazy Credits

Studio Feng Shui ... Marti Lovell See more »

Connections

Follows Koyaanisqatsi (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

a cinematic tone poem
15 November 2003 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

In the hustle and bustle of a chaotic world, we often don't take the time to stop and really look at all the beautiful things that tend to pass us by unnoticed. It is Godfrey Reggio's aim in `Naqoyqatsi' – as it was in his previous `Koyaanisqatsi' and `Powaqqatsi' - to focus our attention on all the artistry inherent in the shapes, forms and patterns that make up our universe. His film is a succession of images, some of them derived from nature (clouds, ocean waves), others from Man (buildings and bridges), and others from computer-generated fantasy. These he filters through his observant camera eye, state-of-the-art processing and ingenious editing to create a cinematic tone poem. The element that most separates `Naqoyqatsi' from Reggio's earlier works is the much heavier reliance on camera trickery and CGI effects here. For the most part, Reggio has moved away from nature as his subject and towards the cyber realities of the current age. Thus, the altered emphasis in form seems not merely appropriate but thematically valid as well, as Reggio examines a world in which nature has been largely eclipsed by computer technology.

At the end of the film we are told that `Naqoyqatsi' is a Hopi word meaning, essentially, `war' and `violence.' I'm not sure, though, that Reggio has really earned that title with his film. True, he does include a few shots of mushroom clouds, of street riots, of violent video games, but they hardly account for the majority of the images we see. Perhaps it is the clash between nature and technology that he is referring to here, but the title – at least as defined at the end - still seems to fall a bit short of the mark.

Still, Reggio is often able to find poetry in even the most disturbing of images. For instance, there's an amazing shot of a trio of crash test dummies performing a macabre, yet strangely beautiful slow motion `dance' in a simulated airplane crash. It is but one of the many unforgettable images in the film.

Enhanced by the haunting music of Philip Glass, `Naqoyqatsi' offers a dazzling kaleidoscopic view of the world, a visual tour de force for the aesthetically inclined.


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