In the mid-80s I remember watching Siskel and Ebert review Koyannisqatsi and each giving it a good recomendation (their trademark “thumbs up/thumbs down” started a few years later). The clip they showed looked intriguing but it wasn't until about five or six years later in college that I got to see the film.
Or rather I somewhat saw it.
My friend Bill and I were taking Music Appreciation at FAU and towards the end of the semester the instructor had us watch “Koyaanisqatsi” because the score was done by Philip Glass. Now, it's hard to say if it was the actual film itself or the setting, but I certainly don't remember much of the film as I fell asleep. I think the entire class, with the execption of the instructor, fell asleep watching the film. The Philip Glass score is … mellowing (for lack of a better term). New Age moderism on steroids.
Fast forward over ten years. Spring has signed up for Netflix and given access to her account, I slipped it into the queue. Why not give it another try? It had arrived the other day and was sitting on my desk waiting to be watched (primarily by me alone—Spring wasn't sure of the viability of this film).
It's hard to say what the film is about, other than contrasting the structures of man and nature, along with the droning Philip Glass score. But this time (perhaps frame of mind, perhaps setting) I was able to sit through the 88 minute film without once falling asleep. It's visually stunning with some inovative camera work, although at times it does seem to flow slower than 2001: A Space Odyssey. And certainly not everyone's cup of tea.
Not by a long shot.