Homo homini rodentius est

The Grid (Koyaanisqatsi)

It’s not that we use technology, we live technology. – Godfrey Reggio

One of the wonders of [Hulu] is that it allows you to view and share full-length features. I’ve wanted to share the segment called “The Grid” from Reggio’s 1982 classic Koyaanisqatsi for as long as I’ve been writing this blog and now I can. Albeit with the risk of commercial interruption… Even still, if you’ve never seen the movie you’ll get a sense of one of the most amazing cinematic experiences ever committed to film.

Koyaanisqatsi carries the rap of “message movie”, decrying modern technology — an overlong music video whine — but it’s much more subtle. Reggio himself refused to label it as anything beyond a meditation on technology. Sure, there are some digs at the regimentation of life that tech imposes (keep an eye out for the unsubtle visual metaphors using snack foods…), but I can’t help watching this and not being amazed at the beauty of man-made forms and rhythms. The scene of commuters rolling off the old PATH escalators at the World Trade Center in waves is an astonishing blend of nature and technology.

And if you have good speakers attached to your computer, crank the volume — Philip Glass’s amazing score will make your head fly off. In a good way.

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