Neo-Realism and Entertainment in Koyaanisqatsi

The movie, Koyaanisqatsi, shows elements of both neo-realism and spectacle/attraction because of the way the movie features real life scenes, but with special effects that portray them in an interesting way.

The movie starts out with a focus on nature and its beauty. There are various shots of different scenes in nature, such as waterfalls, mountains, caves, and the clouds. This is because these things exist in the real world. However, there are scenes that feature time lapses of the day, so it makes it seem as if the day is happening really fast, which makes it interesting to watch.

There is a transition between the nature shots and the shots that feature everyday human activities. This transition allows audiences to see that there are everyday people that can be feature in a film, much like the Lumière Brothers’ first film of people leaving a factory. People can watch this film and see someone they may relate to.

It’s also interesting because the audience is able to date the movie because of the outfits that a lot of the people in the film wear. This goes along with Bazin’s fascination of film being able to capture things and people as if they’re frozen in time. A lot of the people in the film may already be dead, but they still live on in this film.

Another thing the film does is use music that goes with the images and the pace of what’s being shown. The music helps because it influences the mood that the audience may feel when they watch a certain scene — whether it be calm or intense.

The movie uses a mix of Bazin’s and Munsterburg’s ideas about films and the mix creates an entertaining, yet simple and realistic film that is able to evoke emotions without dialogue nor plot.