Thursday, August 29, 2013


Pieter Bruegel de Oude: De "Kleine" Toren van Babel (ca 1563). Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Naqoyqatsi: Life as War. US (c) 2002 Qatsi Productions / Miramax Films. P: Joe Beirne, Godfrey Reggio, Lawrence S. Taub. D+SC: Godfrey Reggio. DP: Russell Lee Fine. VFX: Manuel Gaulot. M: Philip Glass. Cello solos: Yo-Yo Ma. ED: Jon Kane. VET 171885 – S – 86 min. Park Circus print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Philip Glass, Helsinki Festival), 29 Aug 2013

"America is test-driving the future" (tagline).

Three movements: 1., 2. Circus maximus, 3: Rocketship twentieth century.

Naqoyqatsi is Hopi for war as a way of life. This final, digital entry to the Qatsi trilogy starts with Brueghel the Elder's painting of the Tower of Babel. This is the most abstract entry, with studies of digital abstraction, deep structures of ones and zeros, negative imagery, beings of light, computer graphics, waves of the sea, three-dimensional human models, fan-like impressions like in Norman McLaren's Pas de deux, moving inside the computer, into the cyber experience, a bit like in cyberpunk, exploding into Tussaud's Wax Museum images of famous personalities, montages of weapons, nuclear bombs, accelerando, airstrips, jetées, Zoetropes, crash test dummies, images of velocity, dromology, montages of brands, pizzas, hamburgers, symbols of religions, extreme political movements, images of disaster, political violence, mass gatherings, melting images from the history of painting, images from outer space, weightless conditions.

Awesome visions in an abstract movie which has moments of aesthetic hesitation.

The music of Philip Glass has again a leading role, and is again different from the others. The solo cello played by Yo-Yo Ma is prominent.

A fine photochemical print of a largely digitally created vision.

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