Koyaanisqatsi Life Out Of Balance Analysis

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In the 1982 film by Godfrey Reggio, Ron Fricke and Philip Glass, Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance, the filmmakers use imagery and music rather than dialogue to convey emotion, time and meaning. The images in the film is primarily time-lapse and slow motion footage of natural landscapes in the United States, cities and human machinery/development. It requires skill and experience to create a film with no dialogue that can effectively convey a message. Without words it would also be challenging creating climax and convey time. The filmmakers of Koyaanisqatsi creatively used contrast in images to display time passing and to build or lesson the drama to transition to the next scene. In photography and filmmaking contrast refers to the difference in tones from the lightest tone to the darkest tone. Throughout the film there are many aerial shots of canyons especially in chapter two, Organic. The first canyon image in the movie is an aerial shot of what looks like the Grand Canyon. There is uneven rock formation rows in front of each other. The sunlight is coming from behind the camera, creating deep shadows on the front of the first valley and it creates deep shadows on the valley behind it. This shot moves very slowly across this area and then cuts to several close up shots of parts of the canyon, these images are low contrast they are mostly orange without distinct harsh shadows. After the closeups, there are more aerial shots of the canyon. With each shot the valleys get shallower and the contrast lowers. The shadows are less distinct as the land flattens, the land also has more and greener as it gets flatter, one of the last canyon shot we see before the transition to the next chapter shows the sun rising over completely flat desert like land in the area. For this chapter the filmmakers used regression of contrast to create transition from one scene to the next. The flattening in land with the lowering in contrast also shows time and how what used to be vibrant, with harsh and distinct lines and shadows can fade and erode into flat land with no depth and no contrast. The next chapter is named clouds, they use water to transition from dry harsh land to the flowing clouds in the sky. The film shows rushing

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