Here's the trailer for Visitors, a new film from Koyaanisqatsi collaborators Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass. Most of the trailer consists of a single two-minute shot.
That shot reminds me of many things: Andy Warhol, long photos, James Nares' Street, and Robbie Cooper's work depicting kids playing video games.
Also interesting is that Visitors is comprised of only 74 shots, which with a runtime of 87 minutes means the average shot lasts over a minute. According to a recent investigation by Adam Jameson, an ASL (average shot length) of more than a minute is unusual in contemporary film. Inception, for instance, has a ASL of just 3.1 seconds and even a film like Drive, with many long shots, has an ASL of 7 seconds. But as Jameson notes, Alfonso Cuarón's upcoming Gravity contains only 156 shots, including a 17-minute-long shot that opens the film. But the Hollywood master of long-running shots? Hitchcock, I presume:
1. Rope (1948, Alfred Hitchcock), ASL = 433.9 [seconds]
OK, this isn't a recent recent film, but it has to be noted, as it's most likely the highest ASL in Hollywood. Hitchcock used only 10 shots in making it (the film's Wikipedia page lists them). (As you probably know, Hitchcock designed those shots, then edited them such that the finished film appeared to be a single take.)
Speaking of Koyaanisqatsi, the Criterion Collection is releasing Godfrey Reggio's Qatsi trilogy on Blu-ray in December. It's the first time that the Qatsis will be available in HD in the US.
ps. Criterion is also releasing Blu-ray editions of Brazil and Following, which is Christopher Nolan's first feature-length film.
Wyatt Hodgson took Koyaanisqatsi and sped it up 1552% so you can watch the whole movie in about five minutes.
Reggio uses time lapse in the film to great effect -- you notice different things at different playback speeds -- and Hodgson's clever use of the same technique reveals the overall structure of the film much more than watching it in realtime...but the emotion of the film is completely removed. (via the candler blog)
Saw Koyaanisqatsi last night (with great seats), accompanied by the New York Philharmonic and the Philip Glass Ensemble...Glass played one of the emsemble's two keyboards. It was really fantastic.
KOYAANISQATSI, [Godfrey] Reggio's debut as a film director and producer, is the first film of the QATSI trilogy. The title is a Hopi Indian word meaning "life out of balance." Created between 1975 and 1982, the film is an apocalyptic vision of the collision of two different worlds -- urban life and technology versus the environment. The musical score was composed by Philip Glass.
The entire film is available on both YouTube and Hulu.