Back in July, we posted the trailer for Visitors, the new one from Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass of Koyaanisqatsi. The film makes its New York City premiere at Sunshine Cinema this Friday and Saturday, with director Reggio and editor Jon Kane in the house, and we’re psyched to be able to give away two pairs of tickets.
To win, just be the first to e-mail us with the correct answer to this question: the plane shown below is parked at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, near the airplane “boneyard” that was featured in Baraka, a sort of sister to the Qatsi trilogy. Who’s the onetime East Village artist who painted it?
Arizona was one of many locations used in Koyaanisqatsi, as well. Though Visitors was seven years in the making, Reggio sticks to just a few locations here. The wordless voyage starts with a Kubrickian shot of Triska, a lowland gorilla filmed in her native Bronx Zoo, and goes on to offer lingering black-and-white shots of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin as well as two Deco-inflected New Orleans locations that were abandoned in the wake of Katrina: the imposing Charity Hospital and the Six Flags park that used to be Jazz Land.
Despite the obligatory post-apocalyptic scenery, Visitors focuses more intently on human subjects than Koyaanisqatsi did 30 years ago. Mixed in with the panoramic shots of a garbage dump in New Jersey and the Unisphere in Queens are up-close portraits of 80 people, filmed at a New Orleans retirement home as well as at sound stages in Greenpoint (Cinema World Studios) and Bushwick (Nut Roaster Stages).
In long shots (you may find them too long unless you’ve had a toke or two), these subjects stare back at us from the screen, their expressions subtly shifting for mysterious reasons. (The viewer doesn’t know it but Reggio, whose work has always explored our symbiotic relationship with technology, filmed them watching television and playing video games.)
Visitors is comprised of 74 shots total, and looks stunning when projected in 4,000-pixel resolution, as it will be at Sunshine. But the real draw — it has to be said — is Glass’s original score, performed by the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz. If you loved the Koyaanisqatsi score but found it a little too repetitive and overpowering to listen to without the accompanying imagery, you’ll find the East Village composer’s latest opus intricate and mesmerizing.
Reggio and Kane will answer questions after the 7 p.m. screenings on Friday and Saturday, and will introduce the 9:45 p.m. shows. We’re giving away a pair of tickets to each of the early screenings. E-mail us with the name of the artist and tell us whether you prefer the Friday or Saturday show.