Tonight at 7, Minneapolis’s Trylon cinema will give over its single screen to Godfrey Reggio’s 1983 Koyaanisqatsi. Drawing its title from a Hopi term meaning “life out of balance,” the experimental, fiercely poetic film indicts the excesses of the Western world, surveying the environmental effects of technological progress, from the wanton detonations of strip mining to gathering seas of cars in traffic gridlock. The movie’s revelatory marriage of sound and image—Philip Glass’s hypnotic score unfolds alongside Ron Fricke’s transfixing time-lapse and slow-motion photography—makes for an awe-inspiring experience, and its social critique only seems to grow more prescient with each passing year. “When the film came out in 1983, no one outside of a few scientists had heard of global warming,” writes author and environmentalist Bill McKibben in his liner essay for our edition of Koyaanisqatsi. But indeed the movie offers “a primer on the topic . . . show[ing], with emotional and indeed scientific precision, exactly how out of balance our life on this earth has become.”
Two Stark Visions of the American Underbelly Hit the Big Screen
A new restoration of the groundbreaking vérité documentary Streetwise joins its companion piece, Tiny: the Life of Eric Blackwell, at New York’s Metrograph theater this weekend.