Friday, 18 March 2011

***Philip Glass - The Quatsi Trilogy - from unmissable & legendary 'image' time-lapse documentary films***

When Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass released in the 1982 movie about the technology and the silent mutation of the landscape, they hardly knew 'Koyaanisqatsi' and its two sequels, "Powaqqatsi" and "Naqoyqatsi" would become a cultural landmark. The film titles are Hopi language words, where the word 'qatsi' means life. The Hopi language belongs to the Uto-Azteca and is spoken by the Hopi, an Indian nation that lives in the U.S. northwestern state of Arizona. 'The qatsi Trilogy' is the informal name given to films directed by Godfrey Reggio, with soundtrack by Philip Glass and Francis Ford Coppola executive producing. All the films consist of images of nature and images of man and his creations, all stimulated by the minimalist music of Philip Glass. The films are structured on a tripod: the conceptual chain, the heavy load of images and the rhythm of music. It is difficult to judge each film, as they are not movies in the conventional sense. It is an experience of sounds and images to evoke feelings harmonized. Their role is to provoke, to raise questions. The first covers primarily the northern hemisphere, the second and the South Asian countries, and the third deals with the planet as a whole. Godfrey Reggio is often able to find poetry in even disturbing images, enhanced by the haunting music of Philip Glass.

Philip Glass is a North American composer, born in Baltimore, and is one of the most influential songwriters of the late twentieth century. His music is renowned for minimalist, though he did not appreciate this expression. The term Minimalism was used to refer to the musical production that has the following characteristics: repetition of small portions over vast periods of time and almost hypnotic rhythms. It is often associated with and inseparable from electronic music, psychedelic music or even punk rock. Philip Glass has produced operas, symphonies, concertos and soundtracks. Tibetian and advocates. 'Satyagraha' is an opera based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi which includes several mantras. The soundtrack of 'Koyaanisqatsi' is among the most influential. In addition to symphonic works, Glass also has strong connections with rock and electronic music. Several artists were influenced by his work and received among the influences that is the music of Ravi Shankar that changed your perception of Indian music.

"Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance "

was released in 1983. It is the first and best known of the trilogy. It's an apocalyptic vision of the collision between two distinct worlds: urban life and technology versus the environment. We are shown scenes of natural and urban landscapes, many with the speed changed. Some scenes are slow and some more rapid than normal, like everyday modern life increasingly faster due to technological innovations. Images of the time with majestic minimalist music. The title comes from the Hopi language and means "life out of balance '. The meaning is revealed at the end of the documentary are also sung when three prophecies of the Hopi people in their own language, translated, of course. It was a movie with no story, no dialogue and no narrative structure of any kind. There was little debate about the importance of 'Koyaanisqatsi' as a warning to humanity. Instead, there was only the cult of beauty of the images at high speed that have become cliches used in other films and television programs. Some see it as a film strongly pro-environment, while others say it is more spiritual. Others conclude that it celebrates the beauty and power of the things that man has with nature. To me it is painful proof of how humanity's greatest successes have led us to major flaws too, and maybe in the end, we will have created something totally contrary to life than Earth originally gave us.

01. Koyaanisqatsi
02. Organic
03. Cloudscape
04. Resource
05. Vessels
06. Pruit Igoe
07 Prophecies


'Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation'

was released in 1988 and as in other movies, there are narratives or dialogues. Also at the end is revealed the meaning of the name Powaqqatsi: Life in transformation. Using the deceleration of the images 'Powaqqatsi' denounces violence against nature. It follows an entirely different concept of 'Koyaanisqatsi', which focuses on inanimate structures built by mankind. This is a film about people and lifestyles in the developing world. Godfrey Reggio chose not to use visual techniques and high-speed photography and contented himself with a more discreet approach. Although the film can not match the impact of images of 'Koyaanisqatsi', considered the best by the opinion of the public and critics 'Powaqqatsi' theme has greater depth, it makes the public and critics think. The film is the better film portrait of the effects of modernity upon the natives of the Third World, emerging cultures of Asia, India, Africa, Middle East and South America, partly filmed in Brazil, who still live in the same way they did hundreds of years ago and how they express themselves through work and traditions. The scenes of people working, carrying baskets on their heads, show the enormous effort required to make these people an industrial revolution and in a very short period of time. The images show the tremendous work and sacrifice necessary to build a modern society. The structure of the film is the same as that of 'Koyaanisqatsi': early life, industrial life, and finally to modern existence. 'Powaqqatsi' conveys a humanist philosophy about the earth. The advancement of technology on nature and ancient cultures, and splendor as a result. The film focuses on the modern way of life and the concept of Global Village. 'Koyaanisqatsi' is the imbalance between nature and modern society, 'Powaqqatsi' is a celebration. To Godfrey Reggio is an analysis of how life is changing in a fascinating mixture of different backgrounds. It is a record of diversity and transformation. Cultures dying and prospering. With music by Philip Glass, the traditional instruments and electronics fused with tribal rhythms on a single theme.


01. Serra Pelada
02. The Title
03. Anthem-Part 1
04. That Place
05. Anthem-Part 2
06. Mosque And Temple
07. Anthem-Part 3
08. Train To Sao Paulo
09. Video Dream
10. New Cities In Ancient Lands, China
11. New Cities In Ancient Lands, Africa
12. New Cities In Ancient Lands, India
13. The unutterable
14. Caught!
15. Mr. Suso # 1
16. From Egypt
17. Mr. Suso # 2 With Reflection
18 Powaqqatsi


'Naqoyqatsi: Life as War'

ends the trilogy by Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass, with excerpts performed by Yo-Yo Ma, French cellist of Chinese origin. Fifteen years later, in 2002, Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass come back to the post-industrial society, marked by scientific advances and globalization of information. Of the three films, this is the most pessimistic. The film begins with the painting 'Tower of Babel, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Tower built by mankind to reach for the sky at a time when the world spoke the same language with the same words. God did not like the project and confounded the language of all. The tower, allegorically explains the origin of many languages spoken in the world. The film ends with a man lost in space quoting '2001: A Space Odyssey 'of Kubrick. The film is structured by humans, the Earth, space and violence. Political leaders like Bush Jr., Lincoln and Arafat are present. Bin Laden appears briefly, walking among followers. 'Naqoyqatsi' shows the grandeur of the world connected, globalized world, immersed in technology that shortens distances and speeds up procedures for destruction because of their misuse. Unlike the other two films, we used films and digitally manipulated images, mixed with scenes produced by computer graphics. It is a succession of images, some from nature such as clouds and ocean waves, other human as buildings and bridges, and others are computer-generated fantasies. Thus, Godfrey Reggio also demonstrates that the presence of technology is essential and prevalent in film production. 'Naqoyqatsi' does reflect on our relationship with nature, the influence of technology in our lives and new unhealthy ways of relating to people because of the ease of connectivity technology. Humanity does not use technology as a tool, but the technology lives as a way of life. It is a necessity, we can not live without it. At the end of the film we are told that 'Naqoyqatsi' is a word that essentially means, war and violence. But Godfrey Reggio does not include pictures of mushroom clouds, street riots, violent video games. Godfrey Reggio examines a world where nature has been largely eclipsed by the computer. A chaotic world, which often have no time to stop and really look at all the beautiful things that go unnoticed. 'Naqoyqatsi' is the clash between nature and technology. 'Naqoyqatsi' takes us on an epic journey where the real gives way to an amazing virtual tide of digital imagery and music.


01. Naqoyqatsi
02. Primacy of Number
03.Mass Man
04. New World
05. Religion
06. Media Weather
07. Old World
08. Intensive Time
09. Point Blank
10. Vivid Unknown
11. Definition