Taking the familiar conventions of time-lapse cinematography to a transcendent level of artistic achievement, filmmaker Ron Fricke circled the globe to make Chronos, a stunning 70-millimeter time-lapse tour of natural and ... more »man-made wonders. The entire film has the enhanced, hyper-realistic quality of a laser-etched photograph, and by using special cameras and motion-control photographic techniques, Fricke and his technically expert crew were able to create mesmerizing images guaranteed to spark any viewer's sense of awe and wonder. Accompanied by the hypnotic music of Michael Stearns, this visual journey takes the viewer on a tour of over 50 locations on nearly every continent of the world, including explorations of Paris, the Vatican, the Egyptian pyramids, the African veldt, and many more stunning vistas. The cumulative effect is the feeling that the world--from the busiest metropolis to the most serenely remote wilderness landscape--is dictated by "chronos," the rhythm of time to which all living things must submit. Like Koyaanisquatsi and Baraka, this is one of those eye-candy films that was conceived according to its specific theme, so it's not only a soothing visual experience but a thought-provoking study of our fascinating planet. --Jeff Shannon« less
From Some of The Fathers of Wordless Narrative Film
Nicholas Croft | New York | 03/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1985, "Chronos" is a forty-minute long "visual-music journey". It is a Presentation of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater of San Diego, California and S.E.M. Lagode, Paris, France."Chronos" was filmed on location at over sixty sites around the globe. Images of significant natural beauty, architectural complexity, iconic historical sculpture and various panoramic cityscapes were captured on 70mm film using mostly slow motion and time lapse cinematography.The wordless narrative structure of the work primarily attempts to convey feelings of reverence and appreciation for the breath-taking subject matter. In addition, it also suggests states of significant anxiety experienced as a consequence of the pace and complexity of modern urban life.Electronic music, composed and performed by Michael Stearns, is thoroughly integrated with the considered, slowly paced editing of Alton Walpole and Ron Fricke. Image and sound interpenetrate one another to suggest and convey the eloquent wordless scenario, which was conceived by both Constantine and Genevieve Nicholas.Having begun as cinematographer for director Godfrey Reggio's film "Koyaanisqatsi", we see with "Chronos" that Ron Fricke helped to sow the visual and conceptual seeds of wordless narrative film. This medium finally bore satisfying fruit with 1992's feature length work "Baraka". "Chronos", however, remains as essential viewing. By this passionate evidence of Mr. Fricke's ongoing struggle, we see that their is, at last, some sign of harmonious life beyond the scenario of Godfrey Reggio's dire trilogy."
Good, but not as good as Baraka...
Steve DeVore | Forida, USA | 07/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those who loved the Qatsi Trilogy and Baraka, this is a welcome addition to your collection. It's completely time-elapse cinematography which features some compelling locations, particularly the interior of the Vatican and the Pyramids at Giza. It's a little shorter in length than the other films I mentioned above, and in my opinion the music, with its eerie synthesized tones dates the film (circa 1984), but it's worth the very affordable price the disc is retailing for now. This special collector's edition DVD also includes some interesting interviews with the crew about their experiences during the making of the film, and the groundbreaking camera that was invented specifically for this project. All in all, if you're a fan of Baraka and the Qatsi Trilogy or just time-elapse photography then you will certainly appreciate this early contribution to it's genre."
A visual and aural treat!
David Rajter | West Hollywood | 12/27/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Originally released as an IMAX film in the mid-80s, Chronos on DVD unfortunately can not match the power of the IMAX experience. But really; what TV can compete with a 5-story-high screen? I saw the film three times in IMAX and each time I saw something new and amazing. I couldn't wait to get this film on DVD. Any shortcomings the Chronos DVD has are related to the size and clarity of the image as displayed on a television, not the film's content. The images of earthly constructions both natural and man-made are drop-dead-gorgeous, and the music -- a nonstop electronic instrumental score -- is mesmerizing. At roughly 45 minutes in length, you'll not want it to end. The disc has a spare and clunky interface and no special features, but who cares? Chronos is a wonder that I find myself watching again and again."
Give us MORE BLU-RAY FRICKE !!!!
ZAHZAH | MISSION VIEJO, CA USA | 05/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this when IMAX was brand new (last century) and was blown away by the scope and beauty of the piece. I was so happy to get it on DVD (I had VHS,too). But this Blu-Ray version is definatly the best! I'll admit, while it doesn't look as "perfect" as say, "Cars" on BD, it is very much VERY WATCHABLE and only the very pickiest of video geeks would be distracted by the PRACTICALLY NON-EXISTANT grain, outline or color uneveness. A much better transfer than I expected, near perfect, especially considering the age of the film. The DRS company did a fine job. As far as the film itself, this is a "Bolero". Not intended for ADD viewers or fast food consumers. This is art, not product. It's Fricke's first major film (that I'm aware of). It's a beautiful exploration of the passing of time with unpresidented cinematography. Films like this are why I got my big screen hi-def TV and BD player. Other movies are fun, and look great, it's true, but Fricke's work a whole different world."
Great music and soothing visuals
Elak Swindell | Georgia USA | 04/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember seeing "Chronos" way back in 1987 at the IMAX theater in Los Angeles. I thought it was really great, especially the fantastic soundtrack by Michael Stearns and Constance Demby. This DVD is beautifully done, a better quality version of the IMAX experience. I do agree that the layout of scenes should have been more progressive from location to location instead of jumping from one location of the world to another. Even with this error in editing pace, the film stands as a wonderful tribute to the beauty of nature and chaotic life on Earth. I've always loved seeing time-lapse photography in action. It's amazing how a city at night, like Los Angeles in the film, appears as if it is a big circuit board with constant energy currents flowing through it where the freeways are located. This film has awakened my keen desire to get the soundtrack. It is wonderfully atmospheric with celestial tones that bring the listener into a realm of aural pleasure. The DVD also has an audio commentary track well worth listening too. Michael Stearns, Alton Walpole and Ron Fricke give a lot of interesting facts on a scene-by-scene perspective of the production. There are also some in-depth behind-the-scenes featurettes that give more info. on how the film was created as well, plus plenty of textual info on the locations, people and other movie-related things. For me, I loved the short featurette by Michael Steans on "The Beam" instrument used for soundtrack. Another excellent IMAX movie created by Ron Fricke and Michael Stearns at the same time as "Chronos" was "Sacred Site", which played as a double bill with "Chronos" in 1987. I really like this movie, more so the soundtrack. As mentioned before, the only thing that stands out as a slight negative point is the weird editing style of jumping around to different worldly locations so quickly instead of progressively moving from one place to another. One minute you are in Monument Valley, Arizona and the next you are viewing the Giza Pyramids in Eygpt, then you're on Lake Powell in Utah. I don't mind, but it is an odd way of editing."