With Godfrey Reggio in conversation with RaMell Ross
Dir. Godfrey Reggio. 1982, 86 mins. DCP. Koyaanisqatsi
is a ravishing visual symphony that explores the reaches of modern decay. Unprecedented in its style and approach at the time of its release in 1982, director Godfrey Reggio’s kaleidoscopic synthesis of images is just as remarkable now more than 30 years later. Glorious cinematography captures the beauty of uninhabited landscapes before plunging into the frenetic constructions of contemporary life. A scene of sunlight sparkling on cresting ocean waves seems inherently linked, and yet utterly opposed to the pulsing human tide of crowded commuters overwhelming a city street. Commercialization, pollution, congestion, and demolition echo throughout an array of incredible scenes far too numerous and nuanced to list, set to an original score by Philip Glass. Without a single word of dialogue or narration, the communication of the film lies within the assembly of the images, and within the images themselves, while their meaning lies with all of us who gaze at their splendor.
The screening will be followed by a discussion between filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and RaMell Ross (Hale County This Morning, This Evening), on the occasion of Koyaanisqatsi being given the Cinema Eye Honors Legacy Award at the upcoming Cinema Eye Honors, the awards program that celebrates excellence in artistry and craft in nonfiction filmmaking. The Legacy Award is given in recognition of a classic work of nonfiction filmmaking that continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers and remains as relevant today as it was when it was first released in 1982.
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