8.3/10
35,988
218 user 91 critic

Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 24 August 1983 (France)
A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director:

Godfrey Reggio

Writers:

Ron Fricke (scenario), Godfrey Reggio (scenario) | 7 more credits »
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Edward Asner ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Pat Benatar ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jerry Brown ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Johnny Carson ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Dick Cavett ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Marilyn Chambers ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Lou Dobbs ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Thomas Dolby ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Linda Ellerbee ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jerry Falwell ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Mark J. Goodman Mark J. Goodman ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ted Koppel ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Peter Sellers ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
Bill Tush Bill Tush ... Self - On TV (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Storyline

This experimental film looks at the world and more specifically the effect man has had on the landscape and the environment. Without narration, the film shows the world in a pristine condition and untouched: blue skies, beautiful landscapes and endless vistas. The man-made world is much less appealing. Essentially a montage using a variety of film techniques to provide a visually stunning montage of images. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Until now, you've never really seen the world you live in. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The choral piece near the end of the film, "Prophecies", is sung in the Hopi dialect. The translation is: "If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster. Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky. A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans." See more »

Goofs

About an hour into the movie, the camera operator is reflected in the elevator's glass window as the elevator passes "between" floors while shooting the escalators. See more »

Quotes

Choir: Koyaanisqatsi - Koyaanisqatsi - Koyaanisqatsi - Koyaanisqatsi - Koyaanisqatsi...
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Crazy Credits

Prior to end credits translation of the title and Hopi prophecies heard in the film are given. See more »

Connections

Featured in Scrubs: My Chopped Liver (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Grid
Written by Philip Glass
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User Reviews

 
One of the most brilliant movies ever made!
5 November 2003 | by PeterRoederSee all my reviews

This is a stunningly beautiful movie. The music by Phillip Glass is just a work of pure genius. I can watch this movie again and again. The final sequence of the Hobi legend's judgment where the container falls from the sky is just unbelievable. How was it filmed? It's so amazing. If you have not seen this film watch it - again and again! This must be the only movie which in a powerful way, far better than, say, "Apocalypse Now", sums up why our current "civilization" might be heading for destruction. Moreover, "Koyaanisquatsi" "defamiliarizes" the world and humanity allowing the viewer to benefit from a "verfremdung" viewpoint. In other words, we learn so much about our own life and life in general by watching it from this entirely new viewpoint of "Koyannisqautsi", where fast motion is used extensively. What is mankind about? Why are we moving so fast? Towards what goal? What is nature? What is the driving force of nature? What is the pulse of the earth? What is our relation with ourselves, nature and other people and animals? Moreover, I think this movie is better than the sequel "Powaquatsi". Anyway, I cannot emphasize enough how brilliant "Koyaanisqatsi" is. Watch it! Watch it! Watch it!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | Hopi | English

Release Date:

24 August 1983 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,723,872

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,723,872
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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