July 10, 2006


This is one of those "Let's see if Youtube has any videos about..." posts. Today's subject, the 1983 movie, Koyaanisqatsi. This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Very much the deep-art house-make you think-type film. I first caught Koyaanisqatsi in its initial theatrical release; I happened to come across a flyer for the film at my community college, which, if I recall correctly, was playing that night at a nearby theatre. I had the time and was intrigued enough, so I went.


The movie has become, for me, a standard, not just for watching other movies but also in the making of them (or, I should say, how I would like to make them). I have wanted to make a few short films in the Koyaanisqatsi "style." Insha'allah, some year. In the meantime, I continue to watch the DVD over and over (usually when Milady's not here as she doesn't like the movie as much as I do ;) ).

Following are three clips that Youtube has from the movie. The first covers the night-time traffic scene, the famous shot of the full moon rising, and the human foot-traffic at Grand Central Station (?); the second clip is very short, of the street lights taken from inside the speeding car (later in the same sequence from the first clip); and the third clip is from the very end of the movie, where the rocket explodes and the camera follows the burning fragment of the rocket nozzle down.

Run times: (1) 8:21, (2) 0:39, (3) 3:15.

Note: The music played at the very beginning and very end of the movie (with the men chanting "Koyaanisqatsi") is very reminiscent of the instrumental, "Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32," by the Alan Parsons Project on their album, "I Robot." It would not surprise me at all if Phillip Glass "stole" a bit of that song's melody. (One of the members of the APP e-mail list sent me a short mp3 that compares the two songs, one after the other, and it seems that Glass' melody is more than coincidental in its likeness to the APP song, which came out in June 1977, six years earlier than the movie.)

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