Life in Illusion, Life Out of Balance

In Berlin Reggio’s "Koyaanisqatsi" makes up for Margarthe Von Trotta’s eller Washn

(Translated Excerpts of a Review by Michael Schwarze)

"…Godfrey Reggio’s film Koyaanisqatsi is a film without words, a gloried incantation of American iconography, reinforced by the very emphatic music of Philip Glass which doesn’t hesitate from evoking Pathos in the audience.

Koyaanisatsi has become a masterpiece, a highlight of the Berlin Film Festival: a work that releases Cinematography from its usual burden of the text. During this film, one doesn’t want to take his eyes off the screen even for a moment Director’s intentions but the spectator, by his own associations with the images, consummates this film in his own mind."

"…A panorama of the New World: Fascinating, disheartening, confusing. America as it is portrayed, is transfigured and criticized with a stylistic sense into a Myth, the Symbol of the Industrial,Age. Koyaanisqatsi is a word from the Hopi Indians meaning "life out of Balance." The film has symbolic power, yet the symbols do not force their way to the foreground. They are not displayed vainly but rather to create a blend of image and meaning. The film of course enforces anti-technological perceptions but above all the primary concern is to show the heights of the Fall, the magnificent yet deluding beauty of what we call technology. The title, "life out of balance," is a thesis that does not rely upon a priori knowledge. One goes on a voyage of discovery, staggered by a flush of images which for the most part escape a conceptual perception. A film cannot be in fuller accordance with the essence of Cinematography."

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