Without ever using words, Koyaanisqatsi made an argument. At the time, Reggio’s official biography declared he was “interested in the impact of the media in conveying ideas rather than promoting commodities.” Koyaanisqatsi was beautiful, gargantuan, tranquil, yes, but it also positioned itself against what we would now call extractive capitalism.
Which is, to put it mildly, funny. Because nowadays, the Koyaanisqatsi style of filmmaking is most associated with television commercials. Set this new film, Koyannistocksi, to any Paul Simon track from the ’80s and you’d think it was selling you a 401k. The plodding style of cinema that Reggio invented to indict modern globalized civilization has wound up selling the thrill and simultaneity of globalization.
The film didn't exactly defy description since long panning shots of time elapsed landscapes and cityscapes is pretty easy to describe.
The curious thing about critiques of capitalism is how inevitably the methods of those critiques can be assimilated into ... you know. The trouble is that capitalism and socialism ultimately dehumanize to the same degree in different ways. One may attempt to flatten out actual differences in a quest for equality while another disproportionately rewards dynamics that lead to more inequality but what we've had for generations, which has been the complaint of Rand fans, is a mixed economy, something that's not quite a totally free market or a completely socialized economy. Thing is whether it's fascism or socialism the centralization process hardly seems different in degree ... or maybe even in kind ... the difference is the packaging.
Whether it's Marxists anticipating the end of capitalism or dispensationalists anticipating the secret rapture the apocalyptic fervor smells the same.