Last week, I watched for the firs time Qatsi trilogy, which includes the films Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi. All of the film titles are taken from the Hopi language; Koyaanisquatsi meaning \"life out of balance,\" Powaqqatsi - \"life in transformation,\" and Naqoyqatsi - \"life as war\".The films were made by Godfrey Reggio and the music score which plays as important role as the images do, was written by Philipp Glass.The films have no spoken dialog or plot and have to be experienced viscerally first, and then analyzed because everyone sees different in them. For some viewers - they are glorified long music videos, for the others - the revelation that may change the way we perceive ourselves as human kind and our place on Earth.As for me, personally, I realized that the collaboration between Reggio and Glass may be one of the best creative unions between a visionary director and a brilliant composer ever.Of three Qatsi movies, my favorite is certainly, Powaqqatsi, and I know I'll come back to it many times more until my last day because it is not just a gorgeous movie with amazing images; it is one of very precious experiences that happen rarely in life. What made this experience possible is above all and without doubt the MUSIC. It was not the first music by Philip Glass I heard. I like his minimalistic and somehow disturbing scores that go right to your senses for \"The Hours\", \"Notes of the Scandal\", and \"The Illusionist\" (2006). Powaqqatsi was the second movie in Reggio's \"Qatsi\" trilogy for me. Just before it, I saw \"Koyaanisqatsi\" (1982) or Life out of Balance\", the first of three Reggio-Glass movies. I like \"Koyaanisqatsi\" very much but I think it is the images that make it so memorable. \"Powaqqatsi\" for me, is about Glass's magnificent, un-earthy, divine and literally uplifting and transcending score. It is the music that could've been played after God had finished his work of creation and looked down at Earth and saw that it was good. I am a music lover, and I love music of different genres, epochs, and cultures. I enjoy listening to Mozart and Beatles, Nino Rota and Metallica, Zamphir and Scott Joplin, Bob Dylan and Lucianno Pavarotti, Bach and Edith Piaf. I love them all but I don't recall ever being so moved and taken out of this reality, feeling happy and overwhelmed, proud to be able to witness and enjoy the incredible achievement of human creativity and genius as when I was watching and listening to three \"Anthems\" and \"Mosque and Temple\" scenes of \"Powwaqatsi: Life in Transformation\". I don't buy the DVDs very often, I am not a collector but when the movie leaves unforgettable impression, when it brings something amazing into my life, I have to have it. I already ordered and received both, \"Koyaanisqatsi\" and \"Powwaqatsi\" on DVDs and I keep rewatching my favorite scenes and the music has the same impact at me making tears of joy coming to my eyes every time I hear the majestic hypnotic triumphant sounds of music written by Phillip Glass.I would like to add the words of one of my favorite writers. They match perfectly the feelings and emotions the film has evoked in me: \"Mother Earth. She lived, this world of trees and rivers and rocks with deep stone thoughts. She breathed, had feelings, dreamed dreams, gave birth, laughed, and grew contemplative for millennia. This great creature swimming in the sea of space. What a wonder thought the man, for he had never understood that the Earth was his mother, before this. He had never understood, before this that the Earth had a life of its own, at once part of mankind and quite separated from mankind, another with a life of her own.\" Harlan Ellison \"The Deathbird\"
Directed by Godfrey Reggio, Powaqqatsi is the sequel to Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi and the second film in the Qatsi trilogy. This is one of the few, if only, Cannon movies in the Criterion Collection. It's also the only Golan and Globus released film with a Phillip Glass soundtrack. In fact, Glass also traveled to the locations with Reggio so that he could get a feel for the music that the movie needed.The name of this movie comes from a term Reggio came up with that means \"parasitic way of life\" or \"life in transition.\" While the original film had a focus on modern life in industrial countries, the sequel focuses on the conflict in Third World countries between the old ways and how life has changed after the spread o industrialization.From men carrying gold up and down a mountain in Brazil to images of villages, islands, religion, people in motion, traffic and the intrusion of advertising, you get the feeling that man is just taking up space on a planet that doesn't need us, or as Roger Ebert wrote, \"Reggio seemed to think that man himself is some kind of virus infecting the planet - that we would enjoy Earth more, in other words, if we weren't here.\"Reggio wasn't fully on board with using the latest in movie technology considering that his theme for the film is finding a way to return to basic life. However, he realized that technology was ingrained into our way of life and that it would allow him the best format for sharing his philosophy.
The film was scored by Philip Glass who also worked with Reggioon Koyaanisqatsi Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. Anima Mundifeatures many of the techniques from the Qatsi trilogy and wasproduced in between the release of Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi butis not considered to be directly related to the series 1e1e36bf2d