Reviews


Naqoyqatsi- life as war

Adam Jahnke, The Digital Bits, Digitalbits.com Aug. 26, 2002

Also this morning, our own Adam Jahnke just had the chance to view a press screening of Godfrey Reggio's Naqoyqatsi. Here's what he had to say about it: "OK, this is gonna be short and sweet. If you're a fan of Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi (not to mention Anima Mundi, the cute 'n' cuddly baby brother of the Qatsi series), suffice it to say that Naqoyqatsi is in every sense the movie you've been waiting 14 long years for.

If you think those are just elaborate typos instead of movie titles up there, then you owe it to yourself to get on board and discover three of the finest art films ever made. Naqoyqatsi is a Hopi word that roughly translates as "war as a way of life" (and, by the way, it's pronounced nah koy kahtsee). With the first two movies in the Qatsi series, Godfrey Reggio examined the ongoing struggle between man, nature, and technology. With Naqoyqatsi, it seems technology has won... but we're not evolving fast enough to keep up with it. In an intentionally ironic move, Reggio has used cutting-edge digital technology to create the film (and believe me, the irony is not lost on me that you're reading this little review on a computer right now). The result is a transcendent, spellbinding movie unlike anything you've seen before, including the first two Qatsi pictures.

Philip Glass's score (which features cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma) ranks with the best work he's ever done, whether for film, opera or insane multimedia event. Quite simply, this is one of those rare films that literally makes you look at the world around you in a whole new way. It's easily one of the best movies I've seen this year and I encourage each and every one of you to check it out. It's scheduled to open on October 18 in selected cities. As David Letterman would say, I just pray your city has been selected."

Here's a link to the film's official website with more information on potential screenings in your area. And don't forget that Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi are being released on DVD by MGM on 9/17/02. Naqoyqatsi will likely follow next year.

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