Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance Reviews
Videos strung together, coordinated with Phillip Glass' music.
Nature (clouds, waves, mountains, shores) is described as beautiful, enduring, good.
Humanity is ambushed as ugly, stupid, wasteful, enslaved, impoverished, ant-like, and injurious to the landscape.
Cinematography: 5/10 I saw this in the late 1980s, and remember being quite impressed by the visuals. On the Hulu version I saw in 2013, I was not impressed at all. The focus was soft, the colors washed out, the contrast low.
Incidental music: 5/10 Beyond irritating. When associated with humans in video, the music had the sort of manic activity one might associate with the Keystone Cops, but with oppressive overtones.
Screenplay: 2/10 The point of view is 'nature is great, humanity is the opposite.'
It certainly has some great moments like the the comparison of a city at night to a microchip, hot dogs on a conveyor belt and people on escalators, but the rest of the films drags way too much. There are several impressive shots that hold for way too long. If the movie were edited down to half-an-hour and followed the human life from birth to death or looked at whether man is independent of nature or a part of it, it could have been a profound movie. Instead, it just feels unfocused. It tries to encompass everything and ends up being about nothing.