Wednesday, February 19, 2014

‘THE BEST MOVIE TRAILER EVER?’ (Or, “UNTIL NOW, YOU’VE NEVER REALLY SEEN THE WORLD YOU LIVE IN”)


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I’ll be dogged if I can figure it out but... what is it about Betty’s comments that inspire me to compose and post new blog bits?

[“Betty” is actually a (real) man, and the nickname is an inside joke between us. To quote Ol’ Waylon: I don’t explain if you don’t understand.]

In the Comment Section of my last blog bit, I wrote the following:

But when it comes to movies we [my Brother Nappy and I] are about 99.90% simpatico. I can think of only one movie Nappy ever recommended to me that I did not much care for. And although my all-time favorite movie, 'KOYAANISQATSI', is one Nappy wouldn't even put on his '10,000 Favorite Movies' list (it's way too artsy and abstract for him), it is a very rare occurrence when our opinions about a movie don't match up to within a + or - in the grading (e.g., B+ versus B-). That's about as far apart as we ever are when it comes to our movie likes and dislikes.

Brother Beer Boy Betty wrote this:

KOYAANISQATSI

What? Did you just drop a game of Scrabble? Had a stroke mid sentence? I'm not sure I caught that... ;)

For anyone who might be interested, below is the movie trailer, embedded on my blog. But rather than watching it here, I recommend that you click the URL link below the video instead and see it in the larger-screen presentation at YouTube. (You can always come back here later and tell me how intrigued you are.)

Koyaanisqatsi (trailer)


URL link:

Anyone who might be interested in gaining a greater understanding of my appreciation for this movie can click the link below, which will take them to one of my posts from Arlee Bird’s very first ‘A TO Z’ Blogfest. (I wasn’t able to complete the Blogfest but, thankfully, I did at least manage to get up to the letter ‘K’, which allowed me to yak about my all-time favorite movie, ‘KOYAANISQATSI’.)
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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23 comments:

  1. Upon finding this post and reading through, being the good little ‘Jell-o brain’ that I can be, I had to go back and watch the trailer (even though I’ve seen’“Koy’ at least a half dozen times, the most recent being somewhere in the last two weeks), and click the link to read you’re A-Z post AGAIN.

    This time through that old post something leaped out at me that I don’t remember reading before. Let me explain: In my most recent viewing of ‘Koy’, I had that explicable, ‘stranger in a strange land – longing for home feeling’. (I’m pretty sure you know what I mean.) When I read your phrase – to be in ‘this world’ but not of it, I felt this sly smile spread across my face.

    Hey, all things considered, not bad for a dumb blonde. It only took me six times through, to REALLY ‘get it’.

    Also, I could stare at that cover picture on the DVD case all day (the one posted here with the full moon against the skyscraper). I wouldn’t mind a print of that hanging on my wall, preferably without the printing. Great image that has some personal meaning for me.

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    1. DEAR FAE ~
      Sorry I was unable to reply until now. It was pretty late last night and I be tired. But I did want to post your comment ASAP, even if my response would have to wait a wee li'l bit. (Slept in real late in preparation for tonight's "graveyard" shi(f)t, then I had to pay some bills and run them to the mail box, etc.)

      Thanks for the really nice comment!

      But you know what I gotta do now? I gotta go to that 'K Is For Koyannisqatsi And Kudzu' post and read it again myself because... I don't recall everything I wrote in that one, and the bit about being "in this world but not of it" is not fresh in my mind at this moment. Obviously it's a Biblical principle, but I need to be reminded of just how I employed it in that blog bit.

      And away I GO-ooooo...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  2. I feel somewhat better about not having seen this movie given that it only played in two theatres when it came out. I have never even HEARD of it until today.

    I enjoyed reading your Stuffs post. Not only for this info on this movie but the stuff about the Kudzu. Good Stuffs There! :)

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    1. Hey, thanks, ROBIN!

      I just now went there and read the entire blog bit - probably the first time since I posted it in 2010.

      If I may say so myself, I thought that "Kudzu" krap I wrote was pretty amusing. The story of the farmer and his 100 goats, and then the fictional horror movie about "Kudzu". (The only thing I missed - screwed it up kinda badly - is that when I mentioned me hiding under the movie theatre seats with the spilled popcorn and soda pop, I SHOULD have also mentioned having a hundred black Jujyfruits on my back. (That's a line from a very funny Bill Cosby stand-up routine called 'Old Weird Harold' that my Brother and I grew up listening to.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    2. You should do A to Z again this year. Start the short posts now and you can finish.

      I still need to watch this film. Honestly though, I don't think I'd watch it based on the trailer. And I don't think this film will rank as high on my favorites list as the films of Fellini and some other favorites. But I'm sure I'd enjoy the visual experience.

      Now let me go check Netflix.

      Lee
      An A to Z Co-Host
      Tossing It Out

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    3. BOIDMAN ~
      Really?! You didn't find that trailer interesting as all get-out?

      See, if I didn't already know this movie and I ran across that trailer, I think my immediate thought would be: Wow! Manna!

      Manna, as you know, essentially means "What is it?"

      I have no idea how you'd think it stacks up with some of your Fellini favorites, but it's very different in that 'Koyaanisqatsi' is not a story (even if based on some aspects of real life), rather 'Koyannisqatsi' IS REAL LIFE... but arranged in certain ways.

      Based on things you've written in the past, I don't think this is one you could get your wife to sit through with you. But, yes, NetFlix has it and, yes, I think you'd greatly appreciate much of the visuals and maybe even some of the music.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    4. I checked and it's already in my Netflix queue. I guess it's been there for a few years and I keep putting things ahead of it. I guess I'll get to it eventually.

      And you're probably right. My wife would probably not care all that much for this.

      Lee
      An A to Z Co-Host
      Tossing It Out

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    5. BROTHER BOID ~
      Ha! I do that all the time too. I have movies that have been on my NetFlix list for years. But most of the time when I add a new one, I bump it up and so I never do get to the bottom of that list.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  3. Koyaanisqatsi

    Oh, Gesundheit! Here's a tissue. You didn't catch my cold, did you?

    Okay okay, enough funnin' you. This was of course my backhanded way of axing youse - you think this is something I might like? Something I should check out? From what I've read it's one of those types of movies that either you just plain "get it" or you don't, since it's not something with a linear plot line. Or characters. Or dialogue. But I like quirky, though. And I don't mind using my thinking-brain.

    So... recommendation, yay or nay?

    Also, according to what I've read, there's two more in the trilogy. Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. You ever see those? If so, how'd those stack up against the original?

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    1. 6-B ~

      Well, if you like "quirky" that's a good start, anyway. I honestly have NO IDEA whether or not you would like 'Koyaanisqatsi'. It's very hard to predict this one.

      Brother Nappy, whose movie tastes, as I said the other day, usually matches up with mine about 99.90% of the time, doesn't care for 'Koy' and will probably never watch it again. My Sister loved it and, at one time anyway, had it on her 25 FAVORITE MOVIES list, as did my friends Pooh, Marty, and possibly Cranium as well (who was the first person I ever saw 'Koy' with).

      I think it's a movie EVERYONE ought to see at least once. And figure if you hate it, it's only 87 minutes out of your life.

      I own the entire Qatsi Trilogy on DVD. The second installment, 'Powaqqatsi', I've seen only once, many years ago. The final installment, 'Naqoyqatsi', I've also seen only once, but recently.

      The second one did not do much for me; the third one had some really interesting, cool imagery but it was not put together as cohesively and brilliantly as the first one was, in my opinion.

      Honestly, 'KOY' is the one to see, if you're only going to watch one. And, frankly, I feel that everything the director Godfrey Reggio really had to say, he included in 'Koy'. I don't feel this ever really even needed to be a "trilogy" (although I expect I will watch #2 and #3 again some day).

      But do nuttin' 'til ya hear from me, Betty! I started an Email at work last night but didn't get far due to circumstances (and because I had fallen a bit behind in my Bible reading and had to play catch-up first). Maybe tonight will be better, maybe I'll complete it (it won't really be very long) and I will make a suggestion... or two.

      Yak Again Soon...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  4. Still your favorite movie, huh? I still haven’t seen it since that time you lent it to me over at the Grove. But I have seen another one like it some time later. Koyaani is more depressing though.

    P.S. Guess who this is (check my username).

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    1. PG ~
      The movie you have probably alluded to is ‘Baraka’. If so, I consider it a cheap imitation of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ – a movie with very little about it that mentally inspires a person. Visually, it’s nice, but it really has nuttin’ to say.

      Yes, ‘KOY’ may be a bit depressing, but considering the condition of the world we live in today, you aren’t going to change “this world” with some happy-go-lucky-bullshit movie.

      Do I know who you are? Of course I do, and without even leaving this Comment Section. You are THIS GUY.

      What? Did you think I became dumber over the years? As we get older, we get even wiser (even if we do fall down for no reason more often).

      ~ D-FensDogg
      ‘Loyal American Underground’

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  5. Peetie Wheatstraw! Yep, I remember you calling me that. I even remember you calling me ‘strawman’ a few times. In fact, I was thinking of making my username ‘Peetie Wheatstraw’ instead of PG.

    And, yes, Baraka is the movie I was talking about. You consider Baraka a “cheap imitation” of Koyaanisqatsi, but did you know that Roger Ebert gave Baraka 4 stars and Koyaani only 3? I think he found it too depressing. Anyways, he has shuffled off this mortal coil.

    Wow, how long has it been, like five years? Also, weren’t we supposed to meet by the mailboxes on the first day of 2013?

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    1. WHEATSTRAW ~
      'Baraka' was made after 'KOY', and it was made by Ron Fricke, who had been the cinematographer for Godrey Reggio, the director of 'KOY'.

      So, basically what happened is that Fricke later stole ("borrowed", if we want to say it nicer) Reggio's concept and made his own movie from it.

      'Baraka' had some wonderful images but it didn't have the substance or a multi-leveled message like 'KOY' did; it was mostly just "eye candy".

      I'm not surprised that Roger Ebert preferred the rip-off version that came later, because Ebert was just a fat moron, and I had absolutely ZERO respect for him as a movie reviewer (and maker).

      However, if you liked 'Baraka', I would recommend you see the final installment in Godfrey Reggio's 'Qatsi Trilogy' titled 'NAQOYQATSI'. Like 'Baraka', it did not have the substance that 'KOY' did, but it also has some really interesting, creative imagery. I consider it also to be primarily "eye candy", but in that category, it's at least on a par with 'Baraka'. You might like it.

      You have remembered the mailbox meeting (as did I) except you got the date wrong. We were supposed to meet there the day AFTER the fulfillment of the Mayan Calendar's prophecy of doom.

      You were arguing that nuttin' was gonna happen on that day, and I was saying the world would end. And... if we really were able to meet at the mailboxes, it would mean that you had won the gentleman's bet.

      Of course, I was joking about it all along. I knew for certain that the Mayan Calendar bit was nonsense, but just for the fun of it, I argued in favor of it and said that the meeting wouldn't (because it couldn't) take place.

      Turned out, however, that by the time we got to the Mayan Calendar date, The Grove was gone, outta business (moved up North). So the building was completely empty and I wasn't there to meet with you (having moved on to employment elsewhere).

      I like that you remember the mailbox debate though. That was fun, and I thought about it and about you on the day that the Mayan "prophecy" came and went.

      I have thought about you a number of times and wondered how you were doing.

      How's your chess game going? You ought to be a Grand Master by now, I expect.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  6. PG (Strawman, the logical fallacy)March 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    The Grove? Out of business? I never thought that day would come. That place was like your home, wasn’t it? You worked there for 10+ years, I’m pretty sure. To this day, the Grove was still the best place I ever worked at, location-wise. I really liked the area. I liked walking outside the building and I liked being inside on the weekends.

    Hey, you’re the person I thought of as well when the doom date arrived, and I even thought about making a visit to the Hive, but then thought “nah.” Plus, I thought that you had forgotten it, but apparently not! Yeah, the Mailbox Debate™ was a fun one.

    As to how I’m doing and what I have been up to… well, the same thing I have always been up to: trying to take over the world.

    Just kidding, that’s just a reference to an old cartoon, Pinky and the Brain. I am not in a situation too different than the one I used to be in. And I’m still doing the same line of work. And what about you, where are you working now?

    Grand Master at chess? Nope, still just Intermediate at best. I haven’t played with many people since I played you. You know this game ain’t big in the US of A like it is in the USSR. And you know why? Because in America you get to decide whether to play chess or not, but in Soviet Russia… CHESS PLAYS YOU!

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    1. >>... "Chess Plays You!"

      Ha!-Ha!

      Yeah, I was at The Grove (or "The Grave", as I often referred to it) for 15 years. That was a good run, and I liked it too. Hated to see that change. (Don't believe what they tell you. Change is BAD!)

      Hey, if it were in my power to do so, I'd GIVE YOU the world. Because, heck, I sure don't want it anyway. (But then again, if someone just gave it to you, it would spoil all the fun of trying to take it over.)

      Right now, I am again in that same line of work. But prior to my current assignment (which I can't stand in the least) I was working as a courier of legal documents for various lawyers and the District and Municipal courts.

      In all seriousness, I don't think I've played a single game of chess since the last one I played against you... whatever year THAT was.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  7. Okay, last week I watched Koyaanisqatsi--on a weeknight when my wife was doing her report cards.

    It a was a good film and I did like it. Pretty much what I expected. I enjoy visually stimulating films such as this. There were some incredible images and nice cinematographic effects.

    Unfortunately I cannot locate my copy of Baraka to watch it again to compare, but I did watch some of it on the internet to refresh my memory. It's also a very good film. I think to call it a "cheap imitation" of the earlier film is an unfair assessment. It's a film that uses the same techniques to show something completely different. The "K" film has a message that more illustrates the fast-paced chaos of the modern world in juxtaposition to the steady erosion of the natural world.

    The message of "Baraka" was similar, but it included the spiritual nature of different societies. There was more diversity in the content and in some ways to me was more fascinating since so much of it was alien to my own experience. "KQ" was on my home turf with many images I recognized or felt at home with.

    "Baraka" was technically better filmed as it should have been considering who made it and the amount of time Fricke had to hone his skills and the better equipment he undoubtedly had to work with. The clarity and quality of Baraka I think is perhaps superior to Koy. And some of the images in Baraka are so cool--the chicken and egg factory and the factories in Asia.

    Both films infer a story of life and society in a sense, but over all they both provide incredible viewing experiences. Like I read in another discussion about these films is that probably it depends on which one you saw first and how it impacted you at the time. It's like I've brought up about the BOTB songs. We often become more attached to the one that is our original version if there is somewhat of a parity between the choices.

    So bottom line, I disagree with the "cheap imitation" assessment and I think they are essentially on a par with one another. I like them both equally from what I remember of Baraka and the reminder clips I watched on the internet.

    Now my challenge to you is to check out Fellini's Roma. I don't know if you are just enamored with Koyaanisqatsi or you enjoy films with striking visuals connected to messages, but if it is the latter I think you might enjoy Roma. I watched it again the other night just to compare it to Koy.. and liked it better than ever. And this a film I've probably watched as many times as I have Wizard of Oz. There's always something new for me in the film.

    It's basically a combination fantasy travelogue combined with Fellini's own memories of his past. It's dreamlike and strange at times. At others it's an interesting commentary on the city and the 70's. It has subtitles and some of the lines are absolutely hilarious so you do have to watch carefully, but even if you miss much of the commentary and dialogue the visuals to me are quite fascinating. The ecclesiastical fashion show is one of my favorite film sequences of all time. Nino Rota's music score, especially the part for the fashion show, is outstanding. Rota is probably most noted for his scores for the first two Godfather films.

    Maybe you wouldn't have the same appreciation for Roma that I do. They're different kinds of visuals than Reggio and Fricke do, but I find them to be very intriguing. Let me know if you do ever watch this film (or any other Fellini) and tell me what you think.

    Later.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Part 1:

      BOIDMAN LEE ~

      >>... Like I read in another discussion about these films is that probably it depends on which one you saw first and how it impacted you at the time. It's like I've brought up about the BOTB songs. We often become more attached to the one that is our original version if there is somewhat of a parity between the choices.

      Well, I agree with that idea... somewhat. If you've been counting (and why would you?) you've noticed that more times than not, on my own BOTBs, I vote for the cover rather than the original. Not always, but often. So (as usual), I think I go against the mainstream grain. No surprise there. It's not a conscious thing, just the way I naturally, authentically am.

      But with KOY Vs. BARAKA... I think anyone who saw KOY in a theatre in 1983, and had their worldview impacted by it, would consider every copycat that came afterwards to be a cheap imitation. I stand by that comment!

      And, in fact, I think it also applies to Godfrey Reggio himself and his second and third installments of his 'Qatsi Trilogy'. Although #2 and #3 had some interesting elements to them, and are worth watching (just like 'Baraka' does and is), I consider them cheap imitations of his original movie, KOY.

      I pretty much covered this facet of KOY a decade ago, when I wrote a review of KOY that I published at BigBitch.com (Amazon.com). Below are the opening paragraphs of that review, followed by the last two paragraphs of it. You'll see that I addressed the "Which Did You See First?" concept:

      ‘THE EDDIE VAN HALEN OF ART FILMS!’
      August 14, 2004

      Some of us are too young to remember just where we were when it was first announced that President Kennedy had been shot. But if you're near my age, you may remember quite well where you were when you first heard VAN HALEN's eponymous debut album in 1978. (I was riding in Al DiMente's Cougar.)

      For those of us who were members in the "Disco Sucks" Club, it was like suddenly discovering The Holy Grail of rock guitar albums. Remember your jaw dropping open while hearing ERUPTION and wondering if it was really possible that this sound was emanating from a guitar and not a synthesizer? That album revolutionized the electric guitar in the context of rock 'n' roll. (Eddie "reinvented" the guitar according to Frank Zappa.) Of course, practically every hard rock guitarist since then has "borrowed" Van Halen's technique to the point that a 20-year-old hearing that recording for the first time today might say, "What's the big deal? This is nothing special." Little does our hypothetical "kid" know that THIS is where it all began.


      Continued Below...

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    2. Part 2:

      The same could be said for Godfrey Reggio's, KOYAANISQATSI. When it first hit the theatres in 1983, it was truly a mind-blowing experience. I recall being absolutely dazzled, and dragging everybody I knew to that little theatre in West Los Angeles. In the following weeks, I must have seen it 8 times or more! The concept and the mesmerizing cinematography was as revolutionary as Eddie's guitar had been. In the ensuing 21 years, Reggio's cinematic style has been plagiarized to the point that a youngster viewing this film for the first time today might find it passe. But if "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", then KOYAANISQATSI occupies an honored position amongst the most highly regarded films in history.

      Of course, Reggio "remade" it a couple of times himself, but so many other filmmakers later copied his style. Not a day goes by that several commercials being shown on the boob tube don't obviously exhibit KOY's influence! But THIS was the progenitor, and it's STILL brilliant! I have often thought that one could pause this movie at any point and the image on the screen would almost always be suitable for framing and displaying.

      [...]

      To this day, KOY is probably my all-time favorite film. The finest artistic achievements affect a person on both an emotional AND a cerebral level. KOY does that. Even all these years later, I cannot watch it without seeing the world differently for days or weeks afterwards. I think everybody should view this film at least once in their lifetime.

      Even though Eddie Van Halen's guitar technique has been duplicated ad nauseam, he will be remembered as one of the very greatest because he did it FIRST. KOYAANISQATSI is far more meaningful to me because not only was it the first of its kind, but it packs a greater wallop than just lightning fingers tapping on a fretboard. Uh-oh! Although there is considerably more that I would like to express about this monumental film, I see that I have very nearly exhausted my allotment of letters, and so I guess I had better cut this review short now and just say goodb


      Lee, I have never seen Fellini's 'Roma', and I will put it on my NetFlix list. It'll probably be some time before I get to it, but I'll let you know what I thought of it when I do see it. (In fact, I have a few other movies on that list that you've mentioned over the years, and I haven't gotten to them yet either.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. Ha! LEE...
      I just now went to NetFlix to add 'Roma' to my list and I discovered that I already had it on there. Apparently that was one of the movies you've recommended before which I mentioned above having added some time ago.

      I should bump it up higher in my queue, because apparently it's been there quite awhile already. (I have so many movies on that NetFlix list that I can't even recall which ones are there and how long they've been residing on it.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    4. Yes I think you should bump Roma up your list as I'd really like to hear your thoughts on it.

      With upwards to 500 films on my queue most of them stay there a very long time considering I'm only able to watch 1 or at the most 2 per week. It would take years at that rate and I keep adding new ones.

      There there are the favorites that I own like Roma which I'll rewatch periodically. Maybe I should just purge my Netflix list and start over again. Naw, maybe I don't want to do that.

      Lee
      An A to Z Co-Host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
    5. Alright, BOIDMAN, I just bumped 'ROMA' up to #3 on my list. That means 3 weeks from now, at the rate of speed we watch NetFlix movies.

      I gotta say that based on the brief description of it, I suspect it's a movie I'm not going to be very fond of. But... as always, I will go into it with an open mind and we'll see what happens. I may be pleasantly surprised, or my suspicion may be confirmed. I'll let ya know, Bro.

      I don't usually like those "artsy" European filmmakers, though. I think the only Ingmar Bergman movie I ever liked was 'Wild Strawberries'.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  8. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Roma.

    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog


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