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Year: 1982 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC U Cert – Universal 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Godfrey Reggio 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Koyaanisqatsi

Exploring the relationship of humans with nature, this is an experimental film produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Described by critics as a “remarkable world event”, this is cinema exploring its possibilities as art. Casting aside convention and audience expectation to create a fusion of sound and image to provoke an emotional response in its audience.

Though there are no characters, the film shows shots of great natural beauty, set to a beautiful and haunting score by Philip Glass. Clouds form around volcanoes in first light; waves crash recklessly up onto the beach; a waterfall cascades effortlessly yet violently over a sheer drop. Using a range of cinematic techniques, these are contrasted with shots of urban living spaces, devoid of nature: commuters jump on and off (and on and off), while others wait as trains race behind them; cars zip around the city, leaving neon trails.

“Koyaanisqatsi” is an expression from the Hopi tribe meaning “life out of balance”, though in many ways, what you take from that and experience in the film, will reflect what you bring with you

Gail Marshall

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Screenings of this film:

1983/1984 Spring Term (35mm)
2023/2024 Spring Term (35mm)