All well that ends well I guess: Man Who Jumped Niagara Falls Joins Circus
Well I had other plans for tonight, but they didn’t pan out. So I came back home and popped Naqoyqatsi into the DVD player.
I watched Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi a few months ago, and my feelings were mixed. Koyaanisqatsi was just about the coolest thing I’d ever seen; powerful visuals and an engaging score by Philip Glass. Wow. Powaqqatsi left me cold though, it didn’t have the visceral impact of the first film. It was a good film, but it wasn’t as powerful as Koyaanisqatsi. I really preferred the time-lapse stuff in Koyaanisqatsi; by speeding up the mundane, hidden patterns emerged. Long, arduous scenes of people toiling in the mud irks me.
And now I’ve seen Naqoyqatsi, the final installment of the trilogy. Life out balance, life in transition, and finally life as war. Life as a series of TV spots, commercials, sporting events, news clips and computer animations. Again, I am left unmoved. Maybe I am inured to the images Godfrey Reggio uses. I thought this would really hit the mark, now that we live in a never ending War on Terror. The brief appearance of Osama Bin Laden chilled me, but the never ending footage in negative, spliced with crummy computer animation really bugged me. Enough already. I’ve seen all this before in a plethora of other movies, and it was of better quality. And somebody sure like Adobe After Effects.
I don’t think Naqoyqatsi is a bad film, it certainly drives home the point of technology usurping nature as our primary interface with reality. As a film though, Naqoyqatsi is middle of the road. While Koyaanisqatsi was years ahead of its time, other filmmakes have caught up, and exceeded the visuals produced in that original film. Naqoyqatsi is squarely middle of the road.
A plethora of activities here as the year winds down.
- Thursday night I went to the November show at the UOG Planetarium. It was my first time to visit the planetarium on the UOG campus, and I enjoyed it immensely. I stayed up extra late Thursday night to catch the peak of this year’s Leonid shower on Guam. I saw several shooting stars, but perhaps I am tainted by the extraordinary showers of the last few years. I wasn’t too impressed by what I saw. Of course the cloud cover made it difficult to fully enjoy the spectacle.
- On Friday night I worked late at the office and then stopped off at UOG again on my way home. This time I caught the opening night performance of David Auburn’s Proof, a play about mathematics, genius, madness, and the fine line between the two. I wish the play had more mathematics in it, but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless.
The weekend is about half over, and I still have lots to do. More on that tomorrow…