Koyaanisqatsi review

Originally released in 1983, this Francis Ford Coppola-presented abstracto-classic is all cinematography and soundtrack and no plot or characters. Director Godfrey Reggio's idea was to show the clash and co-existence of the man-made and the natural, although he does, conveniently, note in his `statement' that "Koyaanisqatsi is whatever you wish to make of it".

If the re-release pitch is to be believed, Reggio's docu-art flick has since become "the ultimate trip movie". This is misleading. While the Philip Glass-composed score is hardly terrible, it does at times become a full-on ear-rattler, and is likely to send any-one foolish enough to wander into a cinema under the influence on a one-way ticket to Planet Bad Trip.

Koyaanisqatsi hasn't stood the test of time that well. Some sequences (cloud-rivers in the sky, mad time-lapsed cityscapes) are as eye-massaging as ever, but you can't help thinking this would be best appreciated at home, sound turned down, while playing the music of your own choice.

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Available platformsMovie