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Naqoyqatsi focuses on society’s transition from a natural environment to a technology-based industrial environment. The name of the film is a Hopi word (written properly as naqö̀yqatsi) meaning “life as war”. In contrast to the first two parts, 80% of Naqoyqatsi was created from archive footage and stock images, manipulated and processed digitally on non-linear editing (non-sequential) workstations and intercut with specially-produced  CGI.

It is the third and final film of the 1983-2002  Qatsi trilogy written, directed, and produced by  Godfrey Reggio. The three films of the trilogy have musical scores by composer Philip Glass, but no commentary or speech. The music is more in the traditional orchestral tradition than much of Glass’s work as a familiar doorway to images so disconnected from the familiar world. One instrument, the cello played byYo-Yo Ma, plays a single line running through the entire piece. Some unconventional instruments are used in addition to traditional ones, including a didgeridoo and an electronically-created Jew’s harp.

Pay attention to the first image that opens the film; it’s a painting done in 1563 of The “Little” Tower of Babel, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder with a great significance in the narative sequence of the documentary.

ART OF CINEMATOGRAPHY

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