Technology in Koyaanisqatsi 1982 and Homo Sapiens 2016 Technology is an integral and evocative theme in Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi 1982 and Nikolaus Geyrhalter's Homo Sapiens 2016 Both documentaries offer complex visions of the relationship between man and machine The films are essentially wordless untethered from language or character they require utter capitulation from an audience and are drenched in atmosphere While Reggio presents a kaleidoscopic escapade through the chaos and imbalance of our current world Geyrhalter imagines the possibility of a world without industry or human activity with a simple eerie succession of images Through Koyaanisqatsi 1982 and Homo Sapiens 2016 we are able to consider the manner in which technology has been critiqued and imagined in both present and future scenarios resulting in a productive and illuminating comparison Koyaanisqatsi 1982 fuses a remarkable tapestry of images with the stark minimalist composition of Philip Glass to explore the primacy of technology in modern life
After showcasing these industrial hinterlands the focus then shifts to the urban setting and through visceral imagery and stylistic technique the film illustrates how technology has utterly pervaded and become inextricable with human existence and culture As Reggio remarked in an interview The basic idea for the film is the transiting from old nature into a technological milieu It's not that we use technology we live technology We are no longer conscious of its presence Jean Epstein discusses the sense of wonder that is elicited through specific cinematic techniques and processes stating The modifications of spatial and temporal experience provided by slow accelerated or reverse motion will provide fresh access to the true concealed nature of the phenomenal world Indeed Koyaanisqatsi 1982 repeatedly utilises time lapse juxtaposing the serenity of the natural landscape with the chaos of the modern metropolis and altering our sense of perception
Scott MacDonald considers Koyaanisqatsi 1982 to be an interesting example of the city symphony film genre MaDonald writes Koyaanisqatsi depicts urban spaces as parts of a broader survey of human experience the representative day in the life of a city is merely a cell within larger cinematic organisms Reggio reveals the modern city as a giant machine and the human beings who live there as its moving parts As the camera enters the cityscape mountains and valleys have been replaced with a labyrinth of towering skyscrapers and cloud formations are now reflected and contained in the harsh metallic surfaces of these building For one specific scene Reggio drastically slows down the action and captures the moon as it rises through the sky and subsequently disappears behind a skyscraper The two forces coexist in the same realm yet they are strikingly dissimilar the moon is bright curved and mobile the building is partially shrouded in darkness straight angular and immobile The gradual pace at which the moon approaches the building implies that a collision is imminent evoking great suspense and uncertainty However the moon is ultimately engulfed by the structure and the skyscraper remains the more visible object This spellbinding image reveals that humanity not only parallels nature in its enormity but is transcending the natural order This simple eerie succession of images is as gripping as any of the sci fi thrillers or post apocalyptic dramas that would normally use scenes like these as establishing shots At first I almost expected to see a group of armed YAs blunder into the wrecked streetscape of mossy overgrown buildings
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