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Powaqqatsi (Widescreen)

Christie Brinkley , David Brinkley , Godfrey Reggio    G (General Audience)   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Powaqqatsi (Widescreen) + Naqoyqatsi + Koyaanisqatsi (Widescreen)
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Product Description

Product Description

Hailed by audiences and critics around the world as mesmerizing (The Detroit News), this second installment of writer/director Godfrey Reggio's apocalyptic qatsi trilogy is quite simply one of the most magnificent visual and aural spectacles ever made (L.A. Daily News)! Combining stunning cinematography with the exquisite music of award-winning composer Philip Glass, Powaqqatsi is a breathtaking experience working on many levels'emotional, spiritual, intellectual andaesthetic (The Hollywood Reporter)! Bold, haunting and epic in scale, this extraordinary film calls into question everything we think we know about contemporary society. By juxtaposing images of ancient cultures with those of modern life, Powaqqatsi masterfully portrays the human cost of progress. It is a film that engages the soul as well as the mind; it is truly an absorbing experience (Movies on TV and Videocassette).

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film for Transforming Perceptions June 16 2004
Format:DVD
Some reviewers have expressed confusion or displeasure over the message of this film. Having attended a question-and-answer session with the director, Godfrey Reggio, and having worked as an editor in the journalism field, I hope I can assist in interpretation. Here is mine in a nutshell: Exploitation produces poverty.
The principle that the filmmakers were seeking to illustrate was that while colonization comes in diverse forms, it is always destructive in the end -- even if the means are through economic domination rather than brute occupation. So-called "civilized" societies prey upon the Third World for their own gain, thereby ravaging the spirit of its people, depleting the natural resources of its nations, and tainting the uniqueness of its cultures.
The film reveals scenes that the U.S. media often fail to show -- the backbreaking labor and environmental destruction inflicted as offerings to the Almighty God of Profit. Worship at the altar of financial markets generates our wealth (the trilogy's first film, Koyaanisqatsi, covers technology- and consumer-based culture), yet as we acquire greater strength and contentment, our business practices shorten the life span and deteriorate the quality of life in weaker countries. The extraction and importation of their very vitality seems to be the fundamental wellspring for our Gross Domestic Product, essentially amounting to a lopsided transaction akin to parasitism.
For contrast, the music for the soundtrack incorporates energetic elements of this highly valued commodity from faraway lands: pounding rhythms, intricate phrases, meditative passages, foreign melodies, exotic harmonies, and even a dynamic children's chorus. This soundscape was intended to provide a sense of the heart and soul of the camera's subjects, i.e.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film that disappoints May 11 2003
Format:DVD
I was looking forward to the "statement" on culture that the packaging promised, but instead I watched what turned out to be a very long music video with many extremely disparate images juxtaposed to give some message that I wasn't getting. In fact, I'm not sure there was much of a message--the filmmakers might have intended there to be one, but it's buried in a mix of visual images that are certainly striking, but definitely not cohesive enough to make the message clear.
The filmmakers also have decided to focus solely on the grim side of culture, and there are so few smiling faces here that it makes you wonder if two-thirds of the people in the world live each day with grim, depressed looks on their faces. By using slow motion so much, they tend to pull the dynamic side of life completely out of the picture, and it grows old very quickly. Where are the playing children? And as another reviewer said, they left out the abominable side of the third world, such as beatings and executions, and they've also left out the graft and corruption that make it difficult for anyone to help people in these countries.
I felt all along that I was being manipulated, forced to watch images of their choice so that my worldview would become what they desired my worldview to be. As a film, this is much better watched in segments, music piece by music piece, perhaps, as it does grow old after half an hour or so. All in all, this is a beautiful effort, but beauty, of course, does not make for substance and depth (or even cohesion), which are elements that this film is lacking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed . . . June 1 2004
Format:DVD
I truly enjoyed the first film in this trilogy and expected similar thunder from Powaqqatsi and was disappointed. I think once one has seen Koyaanisqatsi, it will naturally follow that one will want to see the other two films in the trilogy. They will likely be disappointed as well. P and N are interesting but not profound and revolutionary in the same way that K was.
cheers!
Ryan
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4.0 out of 5 stars Please watch this trilogy in order. Sept. 9 2003
Format:DVD
Powaqqatsi (1988) is the second DVD in the Qatsi trilogy, an I suggest that you consider watching this release second. The first to view is Koyaanisqatsi (1983); the third, Naqoyqatsi (2002). With the filming of the trilogy taking over 20 years to complete, the advances in the music, technology and filming makes me suggest that you start from the beginning to watch how things have changed in that time.
POWA (Powaqqatsi) focuses on life for people mainly in the southern hemisphere. Please also view my review of KOYA (Koyaanisqatsi), which I will complete shortly after submitting this. I plan to soon purchase NAQO (Naqoyqatsi) and will review that as well (obviously I found the film concept entertaining).
KOYA focuses on the northern hemisphere's lifestyles of living with technology in all aspecfts of their lives while POWA shows life that is more driven by manual labor. Yet as the movie progresses, you see more and more hints of the introduction of technology, which will inevitably wind up permeating and consuming the current culture. Watch for the placement of a SEIKO billboard, which really stuck in my mind.
It can be difficult not to feel some sense of pain for the people's lifestyles, but please stay open- minded to an understanding that perhaps the lifestyle that DP's Graham Berry and Leonidas Zourdoumis documented is what the subjects being filmed are most comfortable with. Watching POWA first, however, may take the whole trilogy out of order and context for you. That's why I suggest that you purchase the two- DVD set. And I'm sure that plans have been in the works to release the trilogy as a boxed set.
Make certain also to watch director Godfrey Reggio's comments (highlighted with composer Philip Glass).
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Powaqqatsi
Very disappointed. While I cannot say enough good things about Koyannisqatsi, Powaqqatsi left me bored, looking for something interesting to watch. Read more
Published on May 8 2003 by Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, haunting
When you are dealing with a film that uses no words, only images and movement and music, putting together a coherent narrative that gets the point across is a challenge, but... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars This might be the only review you'll need to read.
When I first watched this film last night, I was rather disappointed. It was different in a BIG way from "Koyaanisqatsi". Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2002 by Rykre
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak film -- great soundtrack
Koyaanisqatsi is one of my favorite films of all time, so of course I was excited to see this. Major letdown - while Koyaanisqatsi drew its strength from the expert editing that... Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2002 by Alaina McCormick
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Compared to K., P. is a big disappointment. What Reggio needs to learn is that once political messages are too directly inserted, art flies out the door. Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2002 by Gigi
2.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed and Disappointing
Hoo boy, Ron Fricke is sorely missed in this second installment of the Qatsi trilogy. I found the film lacking the visual sweep, thematic unity, and relentless momentum of Koyaan. Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2002 by subjectiveimpressions
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great
Having only seen Koyaanisqatsi prior to the DVD release of Powaqqatsi, I had hoped this would build on the power, beauty and unique vision of the earlier film, since both were... Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2002 by Ralphem
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Koyaanisqatsi
I saw the film in the last Philip Glass tour in Mexico. This movie is even better than the classic Koyaanisqatsi, and the score is just as good ! Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2002 by E. W. D. De Leo
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