Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Powaqqatsi – Life in Transformation. US (c) 1988 NorthSouth 2, Ltd. PC: Golan Globus Productions, NorthSouth, Institute for Regional Education, Santa Fe. P: Mel Lawrence, Lawrence Taub, Godfrey Reggio. D: Godfrey Reggio. SC: Godfrey Reggion, Ken Richards. DP: Graham Berry, Leonidas Zourdaoumis. M: Philip Glass. ED: Iris Cahn, Miroslav Janek, Alton Walpole. Featuring: David Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs. Telecast in Finland: 20.1.1994 TV1 - VET 110779 –  S – 96 min. A SFI-FA print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Philip Glass, Helsinki Festival), 28 Aug 2013

Powaqqatsi - the Hopi word means "life in transformation", or "a parasitic life" - is an exalted global vision juxtaposing utterly different ways of life, ancient and modern. There are long, epic sequences on hard manual labour, awesome and troubling. Powaqqatsi is a journey towards the origins of labour as a social phenomenon. It is also a majestic travelogue to some of the most breathtaking landscapes of the world: Alps, waterfalls, aerial views, fishermen. The journey proceeds to religious experiences, of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam. Beauty and squalor are juxtaposed. There are montages of commercials, television, and entertainment. Yet a sense of spirituality transcends them all.

The film is music-driven. The music of Philip Glass is rhythmic - there is a big orchestra - and choirs - there is a majestic grandeur - and epic heroism - a strong pulse - the music is very versatile - there are voices of children - there is train music - there are passages for the flute - and passages driven by percussions.

The colour is deep and good in this fine print.

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