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Criterion Qatsi

Just in time for Christmas, on December 11 Criterion is releasing the Qatsi Trilogy (Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, Naqoyqatsi) on DVD and Blu-Ray.  New transfers and extras abound. For those who remember what a challenge it used to be to find even Koyaanisqatsi on VHS, such availability makes me downright gleeful.  I recall in college, paying $81 for a used VHS online. Probably within the same year, in a late night spending spree, I "participated in a fundraising effort" at to buy a director autographed DVD of the film (splitting it with a friend) for $180, knowing that I was one of the few in the world to have a digital copy of the film.  Only in late 2002 did Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi make it to DVD being released by MGM.

The Criterion Elements:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfers of all three films, approved by director Godfrey Reggio, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions
  • Essence of Life, an interview program with Reggio and composer Philip Glass on Koyaanisqatsi
  • New interview with cinematographer Ron Fricke about Koyaanisqatsi
  • Early forty-minute demo version of Koyaanisqatsi with a scratch soundtrack by Allen Ginsberg, along with a new introduction by Reggio
  • New interview with Reggio about Koyaanisqatsi’s original visual concept, with behind-the-scenes footage
  • Impact of Progress, an interview program with Reggio and Glass on their collaboration
  • Inspiration and Ideas, an interview with Reggio about his greatest influences and teachers
  • Anima Mundi (1992), Reggio’s twenty-eight-minute montage of images of over seventy animal species, scored by Glass
  • Video afterword by Reggio on the trilogy
  • The Making of “Naqoyqatsi,” a brief documentary featuring interviews with the production crew
  • Panel discussion on Naqoyqatsi from 2003, with Reggio, Glass, editor Jon Kane, and music critic John Rockwell
  • Music of “Naqoyqatsi,” an interview with Glass and cellist Yo-Yo Ma
  • Television spots and an interview with Reggio relating to his 1970s multimedia privacy campaign in New Mexico
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays on the
    trilogy by film scholar Scott MacDonald, Rockwell, and author and
    environmentalist Bill McKibben


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