Question Of The Week: "Koyaanisqatsi"

More

by Conor Friedersdorf

A reader writes:

I saw the film "Koyaanisqatsi" in 1987, as a college freshman.  I had no idea what I was sitting down to watch, but some upperclassmen in the film club I belonged to were really excited to be exhibiting this one, so I went along for the ride.  At the risk of sounding ridiculously clichéd, it blew my poor naïve little white suburban mind.  This strange, unique, beautiful movie opened my eyes to the world around me, forced me to consider my place in that world, and has had the most profound effect on the way I’ve lived my life since.

Decades later, I still turn off the lights every time I leave a room, manage my thermostat carefully, approach shopping and consuming with forethought.  I was recycling long before big blue bins became ubiquitous.  I map out the shortest and most efficient routes for driving and take public transportation whenever I can.  I could list a dozen other examples, but you would just start to hate me.  I suppose I am “reducing my carbon footprint” according to the modern parlance that has arisen in the interim about this kind of lifestyle.  But that’s not how I think about it.  Because, in fact, I don't think about it; these aren’t conscious activities for me.  The film influenced me so completely that they are now instinctive behaviors.  I’m just trying to keep my life in balance.

Do I sound terribly obnoxious?  I’m really not; I don’t proselytize about this stuff, and I honestly don’t care or expect anyone else to understand or live the same way.  The farthest I will ever go is to recommend the film, though it is definitely one that can best be appreciated in a theatre setting with great sound and no interruptions.  But sadly, as the repertory/retrospective art-house cinema is nearly extinct, you might have to just rent it, or watch it here.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down