Don’t bother with the video unless ya have a big screen and decent sound, or you’ll be bored silly. Hijack a friend’s home-theatre if need be, though. Well worth the time.
Baraka is a great film, too - though not produced by the same people. Baraka is a stunning technical achievement, and in my opinion, more visceral & emotional than the qatsi’s, which are about as intellectual as you can get when your libretto consists of a few phrases in an endangered language.
Uh, no-- I don’t know if Glass had read Whorf at all, but he’s the only populist of Hopi grammar that I know of.
Koyaanisqatsi means, approximately, “Life in chaos,” which pretty much sums it up, although there’s a certain amount of beauty in chaos.
Powaqqatsi means, approximately, “Life-sucking magician”, and contrasts urban living w/ life in undeveloped areas.
To me, it seemed as though some of the ideas Whorf presented were reflected in the films, but I don’t posit a causal relationship.