Koyaanisqatsi ★★★★★

Koyaanisqatsi is, I think, an inherently pessimistic film. Not only have humans despoiled the pure and beautiful Earth for their own selfish means, not only has consumerism consumed the consumer, not only have we tied ourselves to an unsustainable way of life ... but one of humankind's greatest achievements, space travel, is portrayed here as a dead end, illustrated by an exploding rocket and a slowly falling thruster. We cannot escape what we have wrought. Space will not save us.

That said, I still find this film meditative and soothing. Partially because I'm a good deal more optimistic about humankind's chances than Godfrey Reggio seems to be. Partially because Reggio's editing choices are so melodramatic that it's hard to take him entirely seriously. Partially because I'm able to find as much beauty in "The Grid" sequence as I am "Organic" or "Cloudscape" (to use the song titles from the Philip Glass score).

Koyaanisqatsi is, I think, a useful thing to consider; it's hard to argue that we are NOT living a "crazy life" or a "life out of balance." But Reggio suggests the time to change our ways has already come and gone, whereas I think mankind still might just have a chance.