Koyaanisqatsi Movie Review
Humans in this modern world are mostly following their daily routines with tight or flexible schedules, there is confinement in our roles and many are in their comfort zone to accept change, therefore making it easier for them to stay in their occupations and lifestyle without any change but that can make it more difficult for people to adapt to new things that can challenge our lives as it can either be dealt with in our large social platforms and countless solutions available or people can lag behind and not want to accept that the world will change without waiting for them. In Koyaanisqatsi, the filmmakers make use of extreme long shots, extreme high angle shots, and rack focus, they are trying to show how we humans are becoming accustomed to being busy with technology as part of life and it might replace us in the long run.
Extreme long shots in the mall are used to show how people are absorbed in their daily lives and everyone has their interests. When a camera distance is shown to make people appear minimal compared to the space around them ” to establish a context for events, and sometimes, as with the introduction and conclusion of Shane (1953), to emphasize the isolation and mystery of a character in the distance” shows how isolated people are from one another when they are involved with their personal lives, they are busy with their problems or interests. This shot distance makes the ideology this scene is proving which is that humans are so involved within their jobs, friends, and family which leaves them not looking at how the world around them is progressing but simply doing the task they are provided and nothing more to contribute and technology could fill their role easily.
Extreme high angle shots of people getting to the elevator show how people are busy with their work and it is endless, and the amount of people stays the same or increases. As the camera angle is extreme, it shows how it either how the people are helpless in their lives and daily routine that follows the same pattern in the week with their jobs, in other words, they have little control over their life when they are in their jobs and most people are in the same situation and the camera angle shows the people’s proportion to be very zoomed out as each individual is isolated into their world. This technique enforces and makes the meaning the filmmakers are trying to convey as this technique mean isolation and would confuse the audience over the location itself, it also means that it is becoming extreme that people are becoming comfortable with this routine, and it will just lead us to be more isolated from each other but obsessed with getting results.
Rack focus on different people performing different tasks of their lives, and some examples where people go back and forth to the elevator and work in factories relying a lot on machinery with either some human assistance or no assistance at all because technology is already a major part of our life. As the technique is used, it makes people’s daily routine seem normal and at the same time make it seem odd that there are many uncertainties of the future humanity is taking, as technology is advancing rapidly the role humans have currently will change when there is a breakthrough discovery, “The manipulation of focus also can be used to convey a subjective effect. as when the protagonist of Still Alice becomes disoriented when running on what should be familiar campus terrain”. As discussed earlier, this technique is used to make effects that convey what would be familiar can make people disoriented overtime when it is done over and over. This way, as the ideology of how humans are getting more confused over the repetition of their daily lives and make them not notice the bigger problem which is that technology might very well replace humans as our roles change to needing many humans to perform a certain job to it being reduced to a small number of people doing it and with it being automated by machines instead of humans doing it.
Among the techniques, the filmmakers used for their ideology was something they deliberately kept looping in the scene to make us the audience think there is something wrong, the use of camera distances such as extreme long shots, camera angles like extreme high angle shots, and rack focus each might have a variety of different ideas but for them to be shown back and forth as if we are asked to notice certain shots were a message the filmmakers have tried conveying through the techniques mentioned earlier. As humans are in their comfort zone doing the tasks they are supposed to do, it makes us think “is this what we are meant to do” as when people get too comfortable in what they are doing it can also cause people to be more stressed, confused and tired of their own lives, in other words, there must be some change in our life before some major change forces us to be in a difficult situation and one of them is a technological advancement which is already a part of our life assisting us in many ways but that can develop further and replacing some of us.