Today a friend informed me that Godfrey Reggio’s latest film, Visitors, will be opening in Philadelphia tomorrow night and playing for one week only at the Ritz at the Bourse. Being a huge fan of Mr. Reggio’s Qatsi Trilogy, a landmark three-film collaboration with composer Philip Glass, I was incredibly excited to hear this. Mr. Reggio’s films are wordless documentaries that use prolonged exposure, long tracking shots, and slow zooms to observe the world as it is, where each change of scene is also a change of scenery. Mr. Glass’s compositions complement the visuals perfectly as Mr. Reggio camera is not interested in commenting on how people live, instead choosing to show things as they are and allow the audience to make connections between the shots and form opinions. With his films, which can seem more like collections of slowly moving paintings than the fare that is normally called “a movie”, Mr. Reggio pursues the creation of a pure art form which utilizes the medium of film as opposed to “just making an arty film”. I have watched the films of the Qatsi Trilogy a number of times over the years and I experience new things – visually and emotionally – every time.
From the website for Visitors: The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised of only seventy-four shots, VISITORS takes viewers on a journey to the moon and back to confront them with themselves.
Sounds good to me. Watch the films’ stunning black-and-white trailers below: