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Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982) - Six Post-viewing Prompts

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  • Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982) - Six Post-viewing Prompts

    1) What does Koyaanisqatsi have to say about the role of technology? Its director, Godfrey Reggio, argues that the film shows us how technology has become the human environment, replacing “nature” as the host of our being. If you agree with the take on the film, what does that mean?

    2) Since the release of Koyaanisqatsi in 1982, much has changed in the world. Has that change on the whole rendered the film more or less relevant? How?

    3) What does the film have to say about human agency in respect to technology? Does it agree with Martin Heidegger that we have surrendered much of our own autonomy (our ability to act in self-determined and self-determining ways) to an increasingly autonomous technology? Does the film reveal technology to be the real agent, so to speak, in the current age?

    4) In displaying transitions from satellite images of cities to magnified images of micro-chips, what is the film claiming? What is at issue in this claim? Is it fair?

    5) The film begins and ends with an image of ancient cave paintings transitioning to and from images of a rocket leaving the earth, then exploding, and then returning to earth (in pieces). How does this transition inform the film’s title which means “life out of balance” or “a way of life that calls for another way of living”? What is the larger claim this transition advances? Is it a claim worth taking seriously?

    6) How does Koyaanisqatsi transform its viewers’ perspective such that things previously unseen become visible? Did the film render visible, and therefore available for reflection, aspects of the human condition that have otherwise gone unnoticed (perhaps because they are so ubiquitous in our experience)? Does the film show its viewers the world in a way that it had not been seen before? If so, does it facilitate a new understanding as well?
    Last edited by Steven Brence; 05-14-2017, 10:16 PM.
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