I watched Koyaanisqatsi this weekend. It’s got a lot of cool footage and overall it was worth watching. But part of the problem with the message (that we live a “crazy life,” a “life out of balance”) is that it’s so dependent on the soundtrack.
A lot of it made me think of those time-lapse videos I saw on kids TV when I was little. Seeing a factory in fast motion was cool, not cause for worry. I was glad I found this Koyaanisqatsi: Redux which matches a portion of the film to a goofy, upbeat soundtrack, and contrasts it with a more dramatic string arrangement in the middle (musical transitions are around the 2-minute and 4-minute marks). I like parts of Philip Glass‘ original soundtrack for the film, and I think it’s kind of spooky-cool how the soundtrack can direct your response to what you’re seeing. But it’s too much of an emotional shortcut.
There are a lot of excerpts from the film on YouTube, like the original trailer, the demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing in St. Louis, scenes from New York, and the famous closing scene that reprises the opening.