Inspiring to some, while pretentious to others, Godfrey Reggio's tapestry of images from across the globe is certainly beautifully shot, and fans will be pleased that it's now available on DVD.
Picture There is some minor print damage and a little grain, but otherwise colours are vivid and the image good for this transfer of a 20-year-old film.
Sound A new 5.1 mix accompanies the movie and it's quite a beast, too, with superb low sonics that add guts to the Philip Glass score until the room reverberates with it.
Essence of Life This 25-minute documentary on the making of the film offers new retrospective interviews with director Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass.
Reggio explains that his films are meant to provoke, and to offer an experience rather an idea. "Motivated by what stands behind things," Reggio talks about the influences in his work and on the people he's collaborated with, citing cinematographer Ron Fricke and Philip Glass as geniuses.
Godfrey may well see Glass as a genius, but he did encounter initial problems with the film. Glass carefully divided the movie into sections and then composed music to fit, only to then find that as a result, Godfrey decided to re-edit. Glass feels that Godfrey "cut to the feeling of the music" and that the project worked better as a result of the changes made.
Additional Extra Features Also on the DVD are trailers for "Koyaanisqatsi", and the sequel, "Powaqqatsi".
Ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Audio Tracks: English
Subtitles: Multiple languages
Captions: None (English subtitles available)
Special Features Subtitles: The Essence of Life documentary comes with subtitles.
"Koyaanisqatsi" and "Powaqqatsi" are available to buy as a two-disc boxset.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.