Visitors

Three decades after ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ offered a striking juxtaposition of music by Philip Glass and time-lapse photography – a style gleefully embraced by advertising agencies everywhere – director Godfrey Reggio delivers this very different ode to cinematic contemplation. Like his three previous ‘Qatsi’ films, ‘Visitors’ is also dialogue and voice-over-free, but this time Reggio shoots in black-and-white on 4k ultra high definition video, which lends an extraordinary grandeur to a parade of faces both human and simian, and evocative vistas natural and man-made. With only 74 slowly unfolding shots, it’s closer to gallery installation than conventional cinema, but for audiences open to the experience, it’s often inexplicably compelling as a gorilla’s piercing gaze meets our own, and we’re drawn in to the emotions traversing the expressions of Reggio’s individual sitters young and old – all of it heightened by a weighty orchestral score by Philip Glass. The film encourages us to place our tech-centric human concerns in the context of natural elements and even geological time. There’s much to ponder in a brave, defiantly idiosyncratic film that’s as mesmerising as it is unexpected.

Release details

Rated: U
Release date: Friday April 4 2014
Duration: 88 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Screenwriter: Godfrey Reggio
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