Search - Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance on DVD

Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance
Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance
Actors: Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel, Philip Glass
Director: Godfrey Reggio
Genres: Documentary
UR     2002     1hr 26min

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Movie Details

Actors: Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel, Philip Glass
Director: Godfrey Reggio
Creators: Ron Fricke, Godfrey Reggio, Alton Walpole, Francis Ford Coppola, Lawrence Taub, Mel Lawrence, Roger McNew, T. Michael Powers, Michael Hoenig
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/17/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/1983
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1983
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Sara C.
Reviewed on 12/7/2008...
I have to admit I went into this film pretty sure I was going to hate it. Definitely an "artsy fartsy" film as I like to call it. There is not one word of dialogue in the entire movie. The entire movie is based off the pictures it presents and leaves it open to the viewer on what meaning they take away. It is definitely an environmentally themed movie. I usually hate movies that try to preach about humans needing to treat the earth better...blah blah blah. But this movie actually got to me more than any other movie by not saying anything at all.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Aspect Ratio Correct (with some background info)
Joe Beirne | New York, NY United States | 09/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The issue with the aspect ratio of the MGM DVDs of KOYAANISQATSI and POWAQQATSI has come up here and on the Amazon website, among other places. As a producer and technical advisor on the third Qatsi film, while I was not directly involved in the process of manufacturing these DVDs, I was well aware of the decision-making behind that process. I can say definitively that the 1:1.85 aspect ratio (letter-boxed) on the MGM DVDs accurately reflects the author's intentions and reproduces the original theatrical aspect ratio of the projected films.KOYAANISQATSI and POWAQQATSI were both principally photographed in the 1980s, when widescreen television was a vague idea somewhere off in the future and a large picture tube was 27" across. While conceived as theatrical features, both films were shot with consideration of possible television broadcast, which at that time was almost exclusively full-frame 1:1.33 (4x3). The alternative to "protecting" for 4x3 by composing the image to work well in full frame would have been to "pan and scan" the widescreen image when transferred to videotape for home video release and TV broadcast.I am sure that anyone who has seen KOYAANISQATSI and POWAQQATSI would agree the pan and scan approach would have yielded a ludicrous result for these films: for this reason when the films have been broadcast they are presented in the full "academy" aperture of 4x3, showing _more_of the original film frame than was shown in the theater. And when video transfers of the films were made prior to the MGM DVD they were also made 1:1.33. This reflected the conventional practice at the time, when very few films were transferred to video wide-screen. However in the past few years there has been a markedly increased interest in wide-screen home video and the the technical means to display wide-screen video adequately in the home has become commonplace, arising chiefly from the popularity of larger displays. Reflecting this new environment the decision was taken now to release the films on DVD in their original 1:1.85 aspect ratio. I repeat that this image is exactly as originally intended by the director, Godfrey Reggio and the cinematographers.I don't mean to imply that the 4x3 image in earlier transfers is somehow "invalid". I think this way of watching the films is very interesting.
It is a mark of how carefully crafted were these films that both ratios work very well. However, in no sense is the viewer of the MGM DVDs "losing" something by watching the films as they are shown as a motion picture, at 1.85, anymore than the audience was "missing something" watching the premier of KOYAANISQATSI at Radio City Music Hall in 1983. Joe Beirne
Yikes !! Have we been HAD ??
Roy Kristiansen | Seattle, WA United States | 09/17/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"First, the good news: Koyaanisqatsi is finally available commercially in DVD format.Next, the bad news: The film image has been CROPPED! "Enhanced", if you will, for widescreen TVs. The disc's case says, "16:9 WIDESCREEN 1.85:1 -- Theatrical release format." Bull ! I've seen Koyaanisqatsi in the theater and was immediately struck by the fact it was being projected in the standard 4:3 (1.33:1) aspect ratio--not widescreen ! I'm no fan of pan-and-scan hatchet-jobs on widescreen films, but neither am I a fan of this equally reprehensible practice of cutting away significant portions of a film's top and bottom just so it will fit comfortably on somebody's new [expensive]16:9 50" plasma wall-set. Just as P&S deprives us of frequently vital side information, here we are deprived of the beauty of Ron Fricke's *full-screen* images. And, man, do things look cramped up there. Do I dare lay the blame on MGM, rather than on the Institute for Regional Education, which owns the film ? In any event, it's a pity, a real pity ! And a shame !The other bad news is that the 5.1 soundtrack on this new disc is muffled, dull and lacking in definition and depth when compared to the privately-issued disc the IRE made available some time ago. Surround effects that were so obvious in the theater are nowhere to be heard here. I don't know if the IRE is still making their offer, now that this new MGM disc is in stores; but if you're a true Koyaanisqatsi devotee, and can ante up the money for a donation, my advice to you is to give it some *serious* consideration. It's absolutely worth it !I'd really hoped this new release would be a dream-come-true, but now having viewed it, the only satisfaction I take is that I still have my private copy of the IRE disc..."
The DVD was hacked.
John M Strain | Indianapolis, Indiana United States | 10/02/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I've seen the "explanations" put forth by the spokespeople. They don't make sense. If you saw the film as originally presented, or, like me, you happened to own an old home video version of this film, you'd be outraged. The MGM/UA version of this film is hacked. The "letterboxing" is artificial. I could create quite a list of wonderful things you AREN'T SEEING in this DVD version because of the artificial black bars covering the top and bottom of the screen. This can't be right. I loved this film. The new MGM/UA DVD is just wrong. The single star is for this DVD version. I wish I could give the five stars this film deserves, but I can't. I can't watch the DVD because it ticks me off. I'll just fire up my ol' Laserdisc and see the WHOLE film. ...And wait for a full-screen version of the DVD to come out so I'd have to buy Koyaanisqatsi AGAIN."