Saturday, March 5, 2016

Pope Video 3 -- Hopi Prophecies



In 1982 a very strange, yet compelling film was released featuring a score by Phillip Glass (very effective here, in case you are allergic to Glass). Its name, Koyaanisqatsi. That is Hopi for "life out of balance." No one picture can capture it, so here at least is a striking one.

There is no dialogue, and, unlike the Pope Videos, there is no voiceover or authoritative presence. It consists of scenes of nature, cities, and people, either stock footage or shot on location. Often the images are speeded up, or slowed down to create the desired effect. Environmental concerns are important. People seem marginalized, even when shown, as they often are, in dense crowds. They are filmed candidly, or self-consciously looking into the camera. Ultimately, however, they live out their days on a grid of technology and construction whose effects are at best ambiguous.

It occurred to the Bear that the Pope Videos were remarkably like Koyaanisqatsi. They seem to be motivated by the same concerns and use the same techniques. Perhaps those techniques have been mainstreamed since 1982.

Overall, the film is hypnotic, and well worth a watch if you are a cinephile willing to take a chance on an experimental film. It has an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is available for streaming on Amazon for $2.99, unfortunately only in standard definition. It will hold you over until the real Pope Video 3 comes out.

The real news is now we know the key to everything: Hopi Prophecies.

UPDATE: The Bear decided to watch it again, since it has been a long time. It didn't blow him away like the first viewing did, but it held his attention and made him think.

16 comments:

  1. My first impression was that the featured photograph was of a present day reunion of the 1970s Denver Broncos 'Orange Crush' cheer-leading squad.

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  2. The Four Queens Casino is on the left. Binnion's Horseshoe is on the right. They had the loosest slots back in the day. And the cutest blackjack dealers. Behind Binnion's is The Mint. I know them well. And I'm the gal third from the left with the D cup. ;) But really, I was on that very street, that very block when the world learned Sinatra died. All of Vegas went dark for 5 minutes in his memory.

    I'll have to watch the movie. Sounds intriguing.

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    1. Are you familiar with the Golden Gate casino?

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  3. Yes. My husband believes it is the oldest casino in Vegas. We've eaten breakfast there several times--nice cafe. We've found ourselves in Vegas scores of times through the years en route to visiting family in California. My husband has Nevada roots as well. His grandpa drove cattle near Reno.

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    1. The Golden Gate Casino was partnered or managed or something by the husband of my maternal grandmother's sister's daughter, whatever relation that makes her, I suppose my mother's cousin. This woman could have been a movie star. I mean, I hate to call her a babe, but so she was. "Aunt Marie" was what she was to me, although maybe better some sort of cousin once removed. (Bears are not much for genealogy beyond Bear son of Bear.) She was just a girl from a southern Illinois coal town, like my mom, and they were very close.

      In 1960ish my mom and I took a train all the way to Las Vegas to visit Aunt Marie and my cousin Johnna, who was the same age as me. The lived in a big ranch out in the middle of nowhere and had an Irish maid. I was maybe two or three, but I still remember a few things vividly. The maid had apparently been tasked to watch me and my cousin.

      I seem to remember some serious men, too, who apparently had nothing to do. Now I suspect they served an important purpose. I remember riding around the property in a big caddy and seeing wolf carcasses nailed to fenceposts. He had cattle, I believe.

      After my wife and I were married (she was 17, I was 18) we took an epic motorcycle trip in the 70s and went through Las Vegas. I asked about my "uncle," but he had passed away. Aunt Marie preceded him at a fairly young age, I do believe. Anyway, I think they gave us some chips, once I had established my bona fides.

      Family lore has it that the famous shoe on the Silver Slipper was modeled on a shoe of Aunt Marie's. I have no idea whether that is true, but that is what I heard.

      I really miss my mom in moments like these. She was the last of her generation and possessed all the family information and stories.

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    2. It must all almost seem phantasmagoric to you. Vegas is surreal in many ways. My husband and I currently have business that takes us there for long weekends. We love exploring. There are mid century neighbourhoods off the strip vying for historic register status. The Echo Boomers/Millenials are buying up homes built in the 1950s and 60s and making them uber cool. IKEA is about to open and I imagine Vegas to become America's most affordable, hippest town in the next ten years (that's if the meteor doesn't hit). There are so many good people there--services are excellent. It's highly integrated. Pacific Islanders LOVE Las Vegas and immigrate in droves. They call it "The 9th Island".

      Old downtown Vegas has so much fascinating stuff--compounds of micromini houses intermingled with Teardrop Trailers. Chi-chi martini bars. Astounding architecture--check out the new Federal Courthouse online--the world's largest pillar is incorporated into the design.

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    3. My favourite Vegas movie is "The Cooler". The score is sublime except for one cut by a very mediocre male vocalist. The lead actress is luminous. William Macy is at his very best. Weird and memorable.

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  4. Watch it free on: http://putlocker.is/watch-koyaanisqatsi-online-free-putlocker.html

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koyaanisqatsi.

    The Wikipedia article says Koyaanisqatsi (Life out of Balance) was followed by Powaqqatsi (Life in Transformation) and Naqoyqatsi (Life at War). From today's news around the world, perhaps the last in the trilogy applies?

    I must lead a sheltered life. I never heard of these movies, but surely they are being played out before us.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't seen the other parts of the trilogy, which never quite attained cult movie status. In 2014 the same director once again partnered with Glass on a movie called Visitors. It features faces of people watching movies and playing video games showing their reactions in slow motion, shot straight on through one-way glass. It is B&W. The trailer was interesting, but it didn't receive many good reviews.

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  7. If you listen to Glass' minimalist music long enough, your personality will mimic a post-lobotomy patient for a few hours.

    Seattle Kim, Bach. Of Music, 1986

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    1. This is not the Glass people think of when they think of Glass. The music is more complex, includes polyphonic vocals and different tempos. It works, although is still kind of Glassish. But you may be right.

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  8. "The March 2016 Pope Video will be released on March 10, 2016!"

    http://apostleshipofprayer.org/

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