Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance Reviews

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½ June 5, 2015
Obviously the work of a visionary mind, "Koyaanisqatsi" is an extremely well executed collage of mesmeric proportions. Philip Glass' score is for the most part masterfully woven into the fabric of Godfrey Reggio's film. Both hypnotic in its own right and concurrently serving as a pre-apocalyptic essay on the grim follies of mankind, this is basically a masterpiece.
June 3, 2015
A must see for any true fan of cinema.
May 21, 2015
Inspirational. The soundtrack composed by Philip Glass is what really stands out.
½ April 21, 2015
Boasting gorgeous visuals that are cleverly juxtaposed and contextualized to posit questions about the nature of human existence over time and an otherworldly score from Philip Glass, "Koyaanisquatsi" is a masterfully constructed and brilliantly original piece of work offering visually poetic insights into the human condition that both thrill and perplex.
March 23, 2015
Philip Glass is beast. Period.
March 3, 2015
Basically, there is madness and beauty in nature and in humanity. Clouds, oceans, people - all flow through their environments, shaping them, passing on, being forgotten. Each of our lives is but a drop in a sea of humanity. Make your life count for something. Love people. Care about things. Do good.

Oh, and people are hotdogs.
March 1, 2015
omgwth did I just watch? Beautiful but I doubt the current generation has the patience to watch.
½ February 4, 2015
The first entry into the Qatsi trilogy is the best. Koyaanisqatsi stands today as one of the most influential experimental/documentary films in film history.
December 31, 2014
I don't usually like this sort of thing however this is an exception. It's bold, haunting, at times monotonous but consistently thought-provoking.
December 29, 2014
It begins as a magnificent music video, slowly turns into a horror, and then reveals itself as a tragedy. Although I'm certain the particular version of narrative I created around the film for myself (which is devoid of spirituality, environmentalism, and criticism on modern life/technology) is peculiar and idiosyncratic, I'm fairly sure the film will evoke the same range of emotions in different people for different reasons.
½ December 22, 2014
Hypnotic, and profound. Probably Phillip Glass' best OST as well.
December 1, 2014
When I watch "Koyaanisqatsi," I don't want to breath. I don't want to blink. I want to see every frame, every change in its footage of clouds and traffic and bustling people. The intended meanings of Godfrey Reggio's film are suggested in its environmental imagery, in its focus on industrial civilization's high speed and large scale, and by the translation of the title: "life out of balance." But meanings, and the fact that the film's use of raw footage is more propagandistic than documentary, are of secondary concern. "Koyaanisqatsi" is a powerful work of art because is a pure sensory experience. Long cuts of sped-up landscapes and cityscapes are set to a Philip Glass score, and the effect is utterly mesmerizing. The first time I saw it, I only noticed at the end that my hands had been gripping the armrests. Comparing a film to a roller coaster is a cliché, and in this case it doesn't do the film justice; I've been on roller coasters that have less effect on my adrenaline than "Koyaanisqatsi."
½ September 3, 2014
The vastness of what is 1980's american and corporate power.
½ August 14, 2014
What's Most Scary Is How Industrialised The World Was In 1982!! ..The World 'Updates' Itself Even Faster Now.. I Can't Fathom How We Might Be In Another 30-40 Years Time.. 2050 Will Most Likely Look Even More Out Of Balance.. Less In Touch With Nature.. On Which We Will Always Rely.. No Matter How Superior It Feels To Be Connected, Technologically Advance What Have You.. Where Does It Stop??
August 3, 2014
Boring as hell, soundtrack is annoying as hell, image quality is subpar for today's standards. Yet some pictures are interesting and captivating. I believe it will be more valuable in the future to shed light on human history.
½ July 6, 2014
Super hypnotic. It's fascinating and an experience to watch. When I first saw it in college, I thought that anyone going into film should watch it. Because music is such an important part of film that I feel many filmmakers underestimate. And this movie is a great study in how music can tell a story, convey emotion, and leave you with an impression. It's direct point is about nature vs. humans and our technology and lifestyle clashing with the natural wonders around it. At first it seems heavy-handed but as it goes on, it becomes more subtle and seems to celebrate people being inherently a part of nature, despite their destructive effect on it. (At least that's how I interpreted it) It's also kind of fascinating to see what was considered "modern" in 1983. The film acts as sort of time capsule since technology has come so far in such a small amount of time. There were several machines and such that I was completely clueless about. I highly recommend this movie but don't know that everyone would appreciate it.
June 16, 2014
For those who haven't seen the frog in slowly heating water. Aldous Huxley was right; we're loving it.
June 2, 2014
This film is worth revisiting. If it doesn't wake you from your slumber, then the diagnosis is that you are in a coma. Do you want to be in a coma, or do you want to find balance?
June 2, 2014
I hadn't seen it in years so I broke into one of the empty lecture halls and watched on a huge screen. Using a stunning montage of images & accompanied by an equally impressive score, this documentary captures the sometimes cordial, sometimes combative relationship between humans and nature
March 30, 2014
Among the finest examples of "direct cinema" of all time, Koyaanisqatsi is beautiful, deep, and enchanting despite its plotless nature. Composer Philip Glass deserves special recognition: without his score, the film would be unbearably slow. In many ways, viewing Koyaanisqatsi is like listening to a symphony: both elicit emotions wordlessly. Its often-misinterpreted message is insightful and eye-opening.
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