As blogged here previously, I'm contributing reviews and "appreciations" to Fancast.com of various TV and movies you can watch there, in entirety, for free (after sitting through some ads). As disclosed previously, I'm being paid to write the posts, but no one's telling me what to write about, or editing my content.
With that out of the way, here's a snip from my latest contribution to the project — a post about one of my favorite movies ever, Koyaanisqatsi, directed by Godfrey Reggio and scored by Philip Glass. Snip:
Power plants, Nevada nuke detonations in the desert, and a spiderweb of powerlines follow, drawing us in to the awareness of human presence, and showing just how broken our own design of human experience has become. People do eventually appear in the movie, but they're not so much thinking beings. They're blurry, busy, insect-like clusters; humming and buzzing through life in a timelapse haze.
The "Microchips" chapter juxtaposes images of tiny computer chips (remember when those images were new to us?) with satellite photos of big cities (and these too, before Google Maps?). The microchips and the aerial city layouts are reflections of each other, and we are shown as captives of a chaotic, conflicted realm we have constructed for ourselves.
The film ends as it began, a long arc that reveals itself to be a circle. We return to the same melancholy prophecy with which the film began: a life out of balance is a life destined to disintegrate. The film, its score, and its message, were intended to be timeless – and they are.
An audio note: That Glass soundtrack was re-recorded and re-released in 1998, fifteen years after the film came out. It's really wonderful music, and worth picking up on Amazon. Snip from the original New York Times review:
The range of instrumental colors is astonishing. If one particular timbre has come to characterize "Koyaanisqatsi," it is the dark, subterranean growl that opens and closes the score.
Read the whole thing, and do comment over there, would you please? Koyaanisqatsi (1983): Xeni's review on Fancast.You can watch the entire movie here with a few brief commercial interruptions. Here's a link to all of my contributions to Fancast's review blog so far.