In their Qatsi trilogy — 1982’s Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance, 1988’s Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation, and 2002’s Naqoyqatsi: Life as War — director and producer Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass gave audiences unique audiovisual experiences of the modern world, combining slow motion with time-lapse photography and avoiding any dialogue, resulting in often mind-blowing scenes of life around the globe. Reggio, Glass, and Naqoyqatsi editor Jon Kane have collaborated again, this time on Visitors, a meditative examination of individual identity in technology-driven society. The wordless work, which features seventy-four shots in eighty-seven minutes, was filmed by Trish Govoni, Graham Berry, and Tom Lowe; Glass’s score is performed by Bruckner Orchestra Linz and conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
“These films are not predicated on a narration in a traditional sense, meaning coming from literature. They come out of a form where the texture, the form, is the language of the film,” the New Orleans-born Reggio, a former monk, toldVisitors official presenter Steven Soderbergh in a recent interview. “We see the world through language. I know that. That’s why these films have no language. The reason for that is not for lack of love of language, it’s because at least from my limited point of view our language no longer describes the world in which we live. . . . So these films are not so much to entertain you as to watermark the audience, so I wanted to offer them something where they could reflect afterwards. These films are not aimed at the head or the cerebellum. They’re not aimed at making sense. They’re aimed at your solar plexus. They are a visceral form of cinema.”
In conjunction with the theatrical release of Visitors, the Museum of Arts and Design is hosting ”Life with Technology: The Cinema of Godfrey Reggio,” a complete retrospective through March 14 of Reggio’s shorts and full-length films in addition to a masterclass he and some of his collaborators will give on January 23.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Visitors opens January 24 at the Landmark Sunshine, and twi-ny has two pairs of tickets to give away for free to the 7:00 screenings on January 24 and 25, both of which will be followed by a Q&A with Godfrey Reggio and Jon Kane. Just send your name, daytime phone number, preferred screening, and favorite Godfrey Reggio film to email@example.com by Thursday, January 23, at 12 noon to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; two winners will be selected at random for each screening.