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

Naqoyqatsi (Naqoyqatsi: Life as War) Reviews

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July 4, 2011
It was with high hopes that I watched this film, hoping to be mezmerized and entranced by it's cinematic beauty while emotionally gripped by it's raw human emotion as I was with it's predecessors Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi. Unfortunately I was disappointed on both counts. Naqoyqatsi lacked the raw emotion and rich cinematography of Koyaanisqatsi and totally missed on the emotional and human impact of Powaqqatsi. With an overload of CGI and digital effects, much of the movie reminded me of a Windows screen saver. Even the score by Philip Glass, though beautiful, still lacked the emotional power of the previous two efforts. It is still worth seeing if you are a fan of the previous two movies, but don't expect to be moved as you were with the others.
June 13, 2011
While the synthetic nature of the film is a far cry from the natural beauty contrasted with raw civilization that made Koyaanisqatsi so effective, all things considered Naqoyqatsi is the logical follow-up and consummation of aforementioned "prequel".

Koyaanisqatsi showed the audience a world of human chaos and creation that, while great in its magnitude and achievement, had no real sense of purpose or effect other than leading humanity into despair at the fact that they had nothing further to achieve or live for. Naqoyqatsi checks in on this vision of Ecclesiastes 20 years later to find that mankind has not abandoned all hope but instead has aspired to create for themselves a grander delusion, virtual worlds to excess, proxies for their most sacred of emotions as a spectacle, devaluing what should be the most important facets of culture for the sake of entertainment.

It shows a people that have seemingly forgotten the lessons they learned so long ago, but instead have sought to drown their collective sorrows in a cacophony of superficiality. It is so effective because our society has lost much of its natural state in favor of created alternatives. There is no natural beauty to be found because as a collective culture we no longer find meaning in the visceral, we have traded it for our own corrupted image of perfection. We still aspire to be God (this point being the opening idea of the film as a simple drawing of The Tower of Babel is shown to the audience), but have long since forgotten why we do so.

It certainly is a much different film, but I found Naqoyqatsi to be just as compelling as Koyaanisqatsi, if not more so due to the cultural relevance that it has in the 21st century, 10+ years removed from the Cold War.
½ January 30, 2011
The third and final entry in Godfrey Reggio's series of silent documentaries was by far the most captivating for me. I went into it having read that it was the weakest entry, but I felt the complete opposite after watching it. Phillip Glass' score has a sense of energy and urgency that it doesn't have on either of the prior two films, and sometimes I found myself detaching from the images to concentrate on it.

The images themselves focus on all sorts of aggressive activities - war, sports, advertising, and stock trading, for example - and then switch to focus on images that drastically contrast with them - infants playing and wild animals running, etcetera. The film's title means "civilized violence" and it certainly depicts this in an interestingly broad and captivating way.
½ December 19, 2010
Not very memorable for me.
½ October 13, 2010
The message appears not to be as subtle as in its predecessors but it is visually riveting all the same.
October 9, 2010
Creepy as all get-out, but it certainly does make you hate technology.
September 27, 2010
Meant to be watched while stoned or there-alike. Can become repetitive. But only if your not fully entranced.
½ August 28, 2010
The most pointless shit! What a waste of film. 1 1/2 hours of an experimental director fidgeting with his new video camera as if it were his dick, attempting all sorts of exposure and lenses and tints, both cheap and mesmerizing out of chance (More often cheap than mesmerizing). If you're going to make your didactic anti-war statement, don't provide pointless shit. The film makes you feel like a spectating alien who's seeing the human race, with an emphasis on technology and anatomy. But if this director thinks this is a legitimate statement "describing" belligerence among humans, he's lots to learn!
May 1, 2010
Life, death, violence, art, politics, technology, consumerism...our world.
April 16, 2010
The tampered footage does not compel as much as the raw footage of the first two films. This is still a fascinating bit of cinema.
½ March 26, 2010
I smell Fringe. Skydive into space!
March 5, 2010
"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 February 21, 2010
Excellent movie showing the conflicts in sports, war and every day life, with plenty of pretty images and music.
½ February 3, 2010
pues sí padre pero la verdad ya es casi lo mismo que las otras dos
½ January 17, 2010
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but with NAQOYQATSI, the third and final film in Godgrey Reggio's trilogy about a "life out of balance" words are rendered useless. This hypnotic flood of images combined with Philip Glass' musical score is a quite a trip. What Reggio's film suggests is that life has become so fast-paced, so complex, so utterly convoluted and so technologically driven that man's reach is exceeding his grasp. The drive to athletic exceptionalism, nationalistic pride and competitiveness for superiority, and a culture of celebrity worship have only given us distractions (or justification) for the chaos that we seem to subscribe to and are fully willing to promote. When a civilized world reaches it's peak how much further can it "progress" or evolve before it begins to de-evolve. The film's final images of a sky-diver's jump from an airplane reminded me of a line in TOY STORY: "that's not flying. that's falling with style".
December 29, 2009
A case-study of life in the modern era, from joyful exuberance to angst-ridden despair. The "life as war" aspect of this film, (while it is present), seems to take a backseat to copious images of surrealism intermingled with reality, all set to an engrossing classical score. This is a perfect ending to an astounding trilogy of films, and worthy of 5 stars.
½ November 17, 2009
This movie is different from any other that I have seen thus far. It is a movie that makes you think about how our world has changed either for the good or the bad.
November 10, 2009
This could have been much better and original.
September 12, 2009
wonderfull music by philip Glass in this documentary series..
½ August 6, 2009
Really great facinating arty poetic fil experiment. Recommended for filmmakers and artists.
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