This week, I watched the new "movie" VISITORS by Godfrey Reggio. I say movie, but it's not really that. It's a work of art, a series of human, animal and landscape portraits shot in a beautiful and rich black and white.
So Thirty years after their original collaboration for Koyaanisqatsi, filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass created Visitors, a stunning wordless portrait of modern life, featuring digital projections and comprised in only 74 shots. The film reveals humanity's relationship with technology. VISITORS is the fourth collaboration of Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass now joined by filmmaker Jon Kane, advancing the film form pioneered by The Qatsi Trilogy (Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi): the non-spoken narrative experience where each viewer’s response is radically different yet undeniably visceral.
As Reggio explains, “VISITORS is aimed at the solar plexus, at the appetite within us all, the atmosphere of our soul. I see the film as a meditation, as a transcendental event.”
I have to agree. There is so much time spent on each frame that you start to see things differently. For example, parts of your body that are normally familiar (take hands) start to look incongruous, bizarre, alien. Made me realize too (even if that was not the point of the movie) that the beauty of human beings is in their differences, yet with today's madness around plastic surgery it feels like everybody is trying to look the same. Nonsense.
There is at the end (when the credits come up) a nice "hommage" to John Grant's work... Maybe not voluntarily, but anyhow, it made me think of John Grant's work.
Don't approach this as a narrative movie, because you'll be bewildered. Think of it as an album of living photographs matched with transcendental music (I love Philip Glass!). See it as an "experience" and you'll love it!
The film is to come out on DVD and Blue Ray on June 10.
☁ JOHN GRANT