• QatsiTrilogy

See "The Qatsi Trilogy" This Weekend!

Philip Glass turns 80 this month, and to celebrate the CMA is showing the complete Qatsi Trilogy – the composer’s groundbreaking collaboration with filmmaker Godfrey Reggio.

In conjunction with the Cinematheque, the CMA will screen  Koyaanisqatsi, Pawaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi this Friday-Saturday-Sunday, January 27-29. Experience them separately over the weekend or together all day Saturday for a complete immersion. Click here for more info, and to purchase tickets.

The films:


An unconventional work in every way, Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi was a sensation when it was released in 1983. This first work of The Qatsi Trilogy wordlessly surveys the rapidly changing environments of the Northern Hemisphere in an astonishing collage created by the director, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass. It shuttles viewers from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human’s increasing dependence on technology. Koyaanisqatsi’s heterodox methods (including hypnotic time-lapse photography) make it a look at our world from a truly unique angle.


Five years after Godfrey Reggio stunned audiences with Koyaanisqatsi, he again joined forces with composer Philip Glass and other collaborators for a second chapter. Here, Reggio turns his sights on third-world nations in the Southern Hemisphere. Foregoing the sped-up aesthetic of the first film, Powaqqatsi employs a meditative slow motion to reveal the beauty of the traditional ways of life in those parts of the planet, and to show how cultures there are being eroded as their environments are taken over by industry. This is the most intensely spiritual segment of Reggio’s philosophical and visually remarkable trilogy.


Godfrey Reggio takes on the digital revolution in the final chapter of his trilogy. Through a variety of cinematic techniques, including slow motion, time-lapse photography, computer-generated imagery and found footage, the film depicts a world that has completed the transition from the natural to the artificial. Globalization has been accomplished; all of our interactions are technologically mediated and all images are manipulated. From this (virtual) reality, Reggio sculpts a frenetic yet ruminative portrait of an era in which the cacophony of “communication” has rendered humankind effectively postlanguage.


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