Thematic Some Other Lives of Time Curated by RaMell Ross

Koyaanisqatsi is a ravishing visual symphony that explores the reaches of modern decay. Unprecedented in its style and approach at the time of its release in 1982, director Godfrey Reggio’s kaleidoscopic synthesis of images is just as remarkable now more than 30 years later. Glorious cinematography captures the beauty of uninhabited landscapes before plunging into the frenetic constructions of contemporary life. A scene of sunlight sparkling on cresting ocean waves seems inherently linked, and yet utterly opposed, to the pulsing human tide of crowded commuters overwhelming a city street. Commercialization, pollution, congestion, and demolition echo throughout an array of incredible scenes far too numerous and nuanced to list, set to an original score by Philip Glass. Without a single word of dialogue or narration, the communication of the film lies within the assembly of the images, and within the images themselves, while their meaning lies with all of us who gaze at their splendor.  ST


Godfrey Reggio


Godfrey Reggio


Alton Walpole, Ron Fricke


Ron Fricke

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

86 minutes