Cleveland Museum of Art and Cinematheque Screen 'Qatsi' Trilogy
More than three decades after it first screened, the groundbreaking experimental film Koyaanisqatsi returns to Northeast Ohio for a special event this weekend which includes the other Qatsi Trilogy films - Powaqqatsi & Naqoyqatsi. It's a unique collaboration between The Cleveland Museum of Art and The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque to celebrate the 80th birthday of the composer behind the trilogy - Philip Glass.
Tom Welsh, director of performing arts at CMA says the trilogy is groundbreaking because of how closely Glass worked with filmmaker Godfrey Reggio.
"It's probably among the first, if not the first, creation where the filmmaker and the composer are on very equal footing in the creation of the work," Welsh said.
The three films were produced over a 20-year period beginning in the early 80's. Cinematheque director, John Ewing says the Qatsi trilogy (which takes its name from a Hopi term for 'life out of balance') is best known for its focus on the ongoing struggle between technology and the natural world.
"It came at a time when there was a growing conciousness about environmental concerns and a growing respect for old Native American traditions," Ewing said.
Welsh believes the films are just as relevant today as they were when the first film Koyaanisqatsi screened more than three decades ago.
"To watch that film (which was released in 1982) to see the push and pull of modern-day life and technology against traditions of the old world, let's say pre-technology, are as relevant today and as stressful today as they were when this film really opened a lot of eyes to the imbalance of the modern world wiping out or pushing out the old world."
Koyaanisqatsi screens Friday, January 27 at 7:30pm and Saturday, January 28 at 11:00am at The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque.
Powaqqatsi screens Saturday, January 28 at 1:30pm and Sunday, January 29 at 1:30pm at The Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium,.
Naqoyqatsi screens Saturday, January 28 at 3:30pm and Sunday, January 29 at 3:30pm at The Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium.
Listen to Dan Polletta's interview with Tom Welsh and John Ewing Thursday January 26 on WCPN 90.3 at 12:33pm & 1:40pm for Here and Now featuring The Sound of Applause or listen to podcast above.