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.
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