Director Godrey Reggio presents a vibrant, visually compelling look at the animal kingdom in Anima Mundi, a 1991 short film that fits nicely between two other movies featuring the music of minimalist composer Philip Glass.... more » 1983's Koyaanisqatsi and 1988's Powaqqatsi focused on the urban and physical realms of the planet, speeding up our view of the wonders of the world, and managing to find art in the heart of the city's interconnecting freeways and overpopulated spaces. But as Anima Mundi states in its epitaph, "the breath, the life, the spirit, the soul of the world" embodies a more mysterious existence, from sea to mountain top. There is such beauty and grace in the movement and exoticism of animals that this 30-minute short serves as a cautionary reminder by celebrating everything we, as humans with our omnipotent sense of superiority, seem intent on destroying over time. "The world is indeed a living being, endowed with a soul and intelligence," wrote Plato, and Anima Mundi is glorious, gorgeous visual proof of that maxim. --Paula Nechak« less
Scott Andrew Hutchins | Bronx, NY, USA | 12/26/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Good thing this is out of print. I hope they reissue a better quality DVD. This is one of the worst-authored discs I have ever seen. I first saw the film on VHS and wish I'd bought it that way--this thing really looks like an mpeg file. To give you an idea of just how bad this is, the black of the end credits has brown-grey squares (perfect squares all the same size) flashing throughout it the entire time--and no, they are not supposed to be there.Reggio and Glass created a brilliant short subject that should have won an Oscar. Perhaps a reissue could be coupled with Reggio's unreleased shorts _Evidence_, and music video "Patricia's Park" could be included, if the rights were available, but more important would be a DVD without such heavy "artifacting," "pixillation," "blockiness," whatever you want to call it. Those of us with the Apex that can play anything and anywhere are particularly screwed since it's not as good at hiding such defects.This is the sort of film that only film conoisseurs are going to appreciate it, so why not give it a high quality release?"
"Fantasia" in real-life, (world-spirit/life of the earth)
Scott Andrew Hutchins | 04/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was first blown away by "Koyaanisqatsi", which was meant to be seen on the big screen. Then "Powaqqatsi" from the local video store. I first saw "Anima Mundi" on the local PBS station in conjunction with their pledge drive. Of the three films in this trilogy, this is by far the best. The music is some of Phillip Glass' most accessible - even found myself humming it at work. Seeing the life within the eyes of the animals, the intelligence, the beauty of life in the wild was stunning. There were many instances when similarities in disparate species were brought into focus: the multiplying bacteria juxtaposed with schools of fish, for example. The one let-down to this film is that there is only 30 minutes of it; it could have been easily stretched to an hour and not fallen into repetition of images. If you are unfamiliar with this trilogy, "Anima Mundi" gives the best introduction. This does for photography what "Fantasia" did for animation. Truly, a 5-star movie. (Also, a real treat for kids who love to watch the nature programs)"
Poor quality hurts this film
Roland | Idaho | 06/12/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film is good, its not the best though because at thirty minutes it really cuts its self short. Sure its a short film, but the subject matter it is trying to deal with just can't be properly covered in thirty minutes. Even so its worth a watching,
but too bad the DVD is poor in the visual quality. Glass is great with the music, as usual. The film Microcosmos and the film Baraka are actually better films in dealing with nature.
Check them out too."
Joseph Geni | Evanston, Illinois United States | 08/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A gorgeous treatise on the beauty of the living earth, Godfrey Reggio's "Anima Mundi" is the absolute opposite of his more famous "Koyaanisqatsi." With Philip Glass again providing the score (this time a more animated, globalistic affair than his highly minimalist work for "Koyaanisqatsi") over an otherwise silent parade of spellbinding images of life and earth, this movie is a moving experience that plays out in under half an hour. Previous reviewers have panned the video quality and while it's not exactly plasma-screen-good, it's certainly sufficient enough to make this a worthy buy."
Artistic, thought provoking, documentary cinema at its best