A while back when I mentioned I was contributing to the IRE fund to get the DVD of Koyaanisqatsi, someone asked if I would review it when it came in. It did, and it’s beautiful. It’s a very bare bones edition. It came in just a paper sleeve and could have been mistaken for a CD Rom game. (I imagine that they are trying to keep costs down so that most of the money will go to the legal defense fund.) The digital transfer is excellent, with only a few dust marks in one sequence (which may be part of the stock footage they used.) It’s not letterboxed, but I believe that the original aspect ratio was pretty close to TV size anyway. (It looks great on a big screen TV; I recently bought a big 32" set which I actually wanted to bring out the subtle detail in Spongebob Squarepants.)
So was it worth the $180 I contributed to get it? For me it was. I’m a big fan of the movie anyway. I know a lot of people get bored by it, and if you watch it waiting for something to happen, you’ll probably be disappointed. Even the director, Godfrey reggio, has said that the images only have meaning that you project onto them.
But it’s difficult not to interpret the film given the translation of the title as “life out of balance.” Especially in one of the later sequences when the camera focuses in on the faces of people and the music takes on an almost dirgelike quality. There’s a sense that you can’t help but feel sorry for the way people have to live their lives. And the way the film is bracketed bu the rocket taking off at the beginning and the extreme slow motion of the rocket being destroyed at the end to me seems to be the best metaphor for this “crazy life.”
Worth $180? Maybe not my best buy all year, but yes, worth it for me.