Naqoyqatsi (Naqoyqatsi: Life as War) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Naqoyqatsi (Naqoyqatsi: Life as War) Reviews

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December 2, 2016
Definitely the most straightforward of the three movies with a lot of stock footage. I did like the soundtrack though.
June 8, 2016
This opus of the cult classic trilogy "Qatsi" by legendary cinematographer and film director Godfrey Reggio. This final chapter is unfortunately very disappointing in the inevitable comparison to the original Koyaanisqatsi, released in 1983. Focusing on technology and it's huge influence on our culture, how we have fashioned the world to our desires instead of living symbiotically with it is quite magnificent visually at times but feels terribly empty and slow. The long series of shots on children's faces become a little annoying after a while in my opinion. The strength of the first film was to make us travel and see the vastness and beauty of the world. In this third film , i fail to see the same enchantment in the technological achievements of men. Looking at machines and warehouses does not exactly trigger my mojo, but i agree upon the fact that some may find it fascinating.
It was interesting but the film failed to dazzle me as much as the original did.
½ April 14, 2016
NAQOYQATSI is the third installment in a trilogy by Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass that began with KOYAANISQATSI. It is a documentary (loosely so) that examines globalization, technology, and violence in a rather oblique way that uses image juxtaposition to make its points. And, for the duration of the film, is accompanied by a Philip Glass score. I only recently saw KOYAANISQATSI, which I thought was ok. I didn't completely "get" it, but the title's meaning at the end did help a little bit, in retrospect. For me, the meaning of NAQOYQATSI was a little more clear from the outset, as the idea of technological advances alternately helping and harming humanity isn't really anything new, having been addressed in a many a sci-fi film before and since. The film is divided into different segments, with each one going into a different aspect of technology or violence in human society. From all of the imagery, I gleaned that technological advances have created a passive, spectator society that, despite being able to move rapidly, still isn't going anywhere. We have also cultivated a society in which we obsess over superficial things, as well as worship power, fame, and money; and the advent of mass media has only entrenched this further. There was also images relating to the destructive power of technology, and its contribution to/role in real-world violence (juxtaposed with videogame violence). All things considered, there is a lot to digest here, which would seem to indicate that this film requires multiple viewings to take all of it in. Still, I feel like the film lacked a strong through-line and cohesive message. Granted, the segments work individually, but taken as a whole, it smacks of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. Overall, I would place this on a level a little below KOYAANISQATSI, from which it seemed to recycle a bit of thematic material. It is well-made and contains some good bits of message, but none of the observations are that original and it didn't quite gel into a cohesive whole.
September 19, 2015
While Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi are so thematically focussed that they gel together comfortably as two halves of one immense work, Naqoyqatsi flounders all over the place.
July 31, 2014
The last of the trilogy is very dark and difficult to watch.
½ July 28, 2013
The final film in the trilogy, but it sort of suffers from the rule of diminishing returns, and the addition of computer graphics this time around sort of put me off completely.

Rental?
½ July 7, 2013
Unconventionally refreshing and very powerful. Beautiful requiem, Media Weather, highlights the theme of exploitation, an engine that bombards us with nearly useless information. Apocalyptic Intensive Time warns the audience that our civilization never fails at betrayal. We can only hope that its scale never reaches totally devastating. Cynical, morbid, and utterly beautiful.
April 25, 2013
Like a cheap old demo with a Philip Glass soundtrack, consisting mainly of CGI and filtered archive video, missing most of the aesthetics of the previous qatsis. The message is about the violent current day human life, which explains some of the visuals leaving it depressingly non-beautiful.
March 15, 2013
Idea was cool but did't like it as much as the other two. Thought they could have used better shots in some cases.
March 12, 2013
The first two films in the trilogy worked because behind they focused on life and had meaning behind the imagry. This just feels like some pretentious film student founf a bunch of stock footage and figured out how to apply fancy color filters.
September 24, 2012
The first two films in the trilogy worked because behind they focused on life and had meaning behind the imagry. This just feels like some pretentious film student founf a bunch of stock footage and figured out how to apply fancy color filters.
August 2, 2012
Horribly dated after only ten years, but still ffull of ideas.
½ July 25, 2012
Sin el encanto visual de las dos primeras partes no queda si no disfrutar de la música
½ July 2, 2012
There was something revolutionary in the first film of this series, but Naqoyqatsi seems to lose that point. While the footage is interesting at times, the visual filters are way overused and the CGI unnecessary. In fact, these two techniques almost ruin the entire point that they were trying to make (which was pretty heavy-handed at times). If the director had kept the simple beauty of slow-motion and time-lapse photography of (essentially) stock footage, then this might have been a better film. And yet, as it stands, this film was a mess.
June 24, 2012
Painful to watch, I had to bail out. Bizarrely more dated than the original due to over use of visual effects that add nothing to what might have been beautiful photography. More evidence that you really shouldn't wait 20 years before completing your franchise of films ....
May 9, 2012
No More to Say, Even With Images

To be honest, I shouldn't have watched this one yet, because I haven't seen the second one. However, given that the trio is not narrative in the strictest sense, I'm not sure how much difference it makes. It is also true that this trilogy is not the only one like it, a film of images set to music without a true storyline to it, and perhaps there are only so many of those you can watch if you do not actually yourself do drugs. However, if anyone is going to be interested in watching movies like this--and not being on drugs at the time--it ought to be someone with an appreciation of the music of Philip Glass, and I certainly meet that requirement. It is sadly true that, for most of the film, I gave up paying attention to what images were flickering across the screen in favour of instead reading and listening. Writer-director Godfrey Reggio may have had a lot to say, but I think this film is best summed up by the fact that there's a feng shui artist credited.

Once again, our title comes from Hopi; my familiarity with these films leads me to believe that "qatsi" is Hopi for "life." At any rate, the premise of this film rather seems to be that the way of the modern world is a life in conflict with one another and with nature. I admit that I'm reading a lot into a series of images set to music. There are no words in the entire thing except credits and the title card defining "[i]naqoyqatsi[/i]" for us. However, I think it's extremely significant that a film released in 2002 would show us, in a collection of spinning corporate logos, the Enron logo. That cannot be a coincidence, given that I doubt most people had even heard of Enron before it collapsed in such a spectacular fashion. Come to that, it is a film wherein there are spinning corporate logos followed by spinning symbols of various religions and not that far off in the film from images of mushroom clouds.

Seeing this, I am even more certain that Reggio is no fan of modern life. This one, unlike [i]Koyaanisqatsi[/i], does show lingering images of people we know things about. There is a lengthy stretch, for a film of this nature anyway, where we are shown studio portraits or perhaps wax figures of various historical figures. (One is Abraham Lincoln, which is why I think possibly wax.) When we stare into the face of Fidel Castro, it is impossible not to put him into historical context. Yes, there is recycled footage from World War I--indeed, I think there is quite a lot more stock footage in this one than Reggio would like us to consider--but quite a lot of the focus seems to be on celebrity culture and the pervasiveness of corporations. Which, okay, I have ranted about a time or two myself. However, I think there's a bit much of it, and I missed the extravagance of nature from the first one. Honestly, if a film with no plot or dialogue could be said to be preachy, this one was definitely it.

I am also less than pleased with how manipulated the images were. I have recently discovered a piece of software that is basically a free version of Photoshop, and I've been playing around with its tools. However, my primary consideration in manipulating my own photographs is that they [i]not[/i] turn out like much of this film, where you are far more conscious of the processing than the pictures. That, and I mean, how many images of mushroom clouds, manipulated or not, does one film really need? Practically all the manipulation of the first film was speeding things up, showing the shadows of clouds rushing across the deserts of the American Southwest and so forth. By 2002, it seems that was not enough, and there was this drive to keep it seeming modern. But as we all know, the more work you put into making something look modern, the more dated it will look even as little as five years later. This was ten years ago, but it would not have surprised me to find out it was older than that.

Oh, I'll still get the second one, when I get to it. (You guessed it. I didn't do them in order because their names are not in alphabetical order.) I'm curious as to which of the first and third it most resembles. Maybe it will even turn out to be a steady decline, which would be interesting. Certainly I can't compare it to any of the director's other films, because these are pretty much the only features he has ever made. I could take the time to look and see what else he's done, because of course you can't coast that long on a mere three films. Even Terrence Malick has done more than that! And of course, I'd still be interested in getting the score, because Philip Glass is still one of my favourite composers. There are even a few minutes where I was captivated by the imagery--there is swirling smoke at one point that was simply lovely, until those blasted corporate logos appeared. I just can't help wondering if what Reggio had to say was all said with [i]Koyaanisqatsi[/i].
March 9, 2012
"civilized violence"

Well to be honest I was totally disappointed by that sequel as for me it wasn't anything more than irrelevant thoughts and perceptions that Godfrey felt like it would make sense under a film entitled by Civilized violence.

Not as good as his earlier master-piece Koyaanisqatsi which was deep and had a main theme and all the elements that were introduced to the film still fitted in that dramatic structure however, here you'll get lost through the endless flow of irrelevant ideas and themes. I don't know but I could say that he ended this magnificent trilogy too soon. Even Philip Glass's music wasn't that good, it was nice but for me it didn't serve the film the way it was supposed to, not like in Koyaanisqatsi in which his music was a perfect match and played an important role in taking the film to a different level.

The bottom line is Naqoyqatsi is a boring and confusing picture and I won't recommend it to anybody ESPECIALLY if you have already seen Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi and for those who would ask so why 3 stars? I would simply say for the tremendous effort that took place in order to collect all these footage and put them together like that.
March 9, 2012
"civilized violence"

Well to be honest I was totally disappointed by that sequel as for me it wasn't anything more than irrelevant thoughts and perceptions that Godfrey felt like it would make sense under a film entitled by Civilized violence.

Not as good as his earlier master-piece Koyaanisqatsi which was deep and had a main theme and all the elements that were introduced to the film still fitted in that dramatic structure however, here you'll get lost through the endless flow of irrelevant ideas and themes. I don't know but I could say that he ended this magnificent trilogy too soon. Even Philip Glass's music wasn't that good, it was nice but for me it didn't serve the film the way it was supposed to, not like in Koyaanisqatsi in which his music was a perfect match and played an important role in taking the film to a different level.

The bottom line is Naqoyqatsi is a boring and confusing picture and I won't recommend it to anybody ESPECIALLY if you have already seen Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi and for those who would ask so why 3 stars? I would simply say for the tremendous effort that took place in order to collect all these footage and put them together like that.
½ July 24, 2011
The third installment in Godfrey Reggio's visual montage trilogy. The computer generated imagery makes it more nuanced than the previous two.
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