Koyaanisgatsi

koyaan2.jpgThe film’s introduction to human involvement in the environment is subtle: a low aerial shot of choppy water cuts to a similar shot of rows of cultivated flowers. After aerial views of monumental rock formations partly drowned by the backed up waters of Lake Powell, we see a large mining truck causing billows of black dust in the chapter titled “Resource”. This is followed by shots of power lines in the desert. Man’s continued involvement in the environment is depicted through images of mining operations, overhead shots of power plants, Glen Canyon Dam (not Hoover Dam as Navajo Bridge is visible) and stock footage of atomic bomb detonations in the Nevada desert.

The sequence entitled “Vessels” contains the film’s longest single take: a three minute and thirty-two second long shot of two United Airlines commercial passenger Boeing 747s taxiing on a runway. “Vessels” also contains shots of traffic patterns during rush hour on a Los Angeles freeway and a shot of a large parking lot. This is followed with stock footage of soviet tanks lined up in rows and a B-1 Lancer military aircraft.[2]

The juxtaposition of humans and nature is seen again in the chapter “Cloudscape”. The time-lapse photography of shadows of clouds is seen moving across the skyscrapers in New York City.

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