Naqoyqatsi (Naqoyqatsi: Life as War) Reviews
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.
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.
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.