Koyaanistocksi is filmmaking out of balance

Here’s a fun one to start off the week: Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi is a striking experimental film that uses footage of nature, people, and technology to convey our often dissociated relationship with the world. It’s an unusual, groundbreaking work that, along with its outstanding Philip Glass soundtrack, has become a touchstone for awe-inspiring cinema.

Koyaanisqatsi is also more than the sum of its parts, as demonstrated in the hilarious new video embedded above, Koyaanistocksi. Jesse England recreated the trailer for the 1982 film entirely with stock footage, and his cut matches the original shot-for-shot. It also clearly isn’t as good as the original, which makes it a great example of how compelling filmmaking is distinct from just putting together a string of images.

Filmmaking lessons aside, Koyaanistocksi is hilarious for people who will recognize the shots. Life is so out of balance that the sorts of shots that used to be terrifying commentary on society are now packaged and sold by iStock as filler videos.

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