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Godfrey Reggio s film

Koyaanisqatsi

Koyaanisquatsi is a beautiful portrayal of life and a shocking realization of how humans have altered it with technology. In Godfrey Reggio s film, Koyaanisqatsi, a powerful contrast is creatively illustrated between the benefits and the costs of the modernization, through technology, of our industrial society. It is hard to determine Reggio s view on the subject, for his film is extremely vague and objective, although watching his film has helped me to come to some conclusions of my own. Firstly I believe that humans are greedy for improvement; they can t seem to be happy with what they have and only want more. In extension to the first point, I believe that the improvement that has been introduced to our culture has not neccesarily improved it. I also believe that we are not entirely capable, as a society, to follow at the pace with which innovation is moving, and that many end up left behind in an obsolete stupor. Koyaanisqatsi illustrates all this with vivid and poignant effect on the viewer.

I like the way in which the slow and plain, but beautiful, landscape is set juxtapose to the flashy speed of the inner city. As the movie progresses the speed and complexity of the shots increase steadily, until it is a swarming mad mesh of people, machinery and computer chips. This starts with very slow panoramic shots of the dessert and landscapes. It portrays the beauty that a mountain or a curling wave posses and it reminded me for one moment how beautiful and powerful nature really is. It then progresses, slowly at first, to the inner city. We see images of people, buildings, and machinery and the interactions that go on between them. The build-up is very effective. It does, however escalate to a nauseating vortex of fast-moving images. The film crescendos with a montage of computer chips. Curiously, though, the film slows down again at the end, almost as if to make a suggestion: we ought to slow down here and take a breath. It lets you down slowly, I like that. The point has been well taken too, I went to the beach this weekend and went for a bike ride in the park. And I abstained from internet or computer interaction all this weekend; except for typing this paper. I enjoyed Koyaanisqatsi, I took it to heart.

In conclusion, Koyaanisqatsi is a beautiful film that portrays the seeping up of modern society the costs of industrialization. The film can be analyzed objectively by different people, but I got the idea that human s are speeding up to the point were they loose touch with the others around them and their environment. I also thought that the ending of the film was a good way to send a message to slow down. I enjoyed the movie and I took it to heart.


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