In stunning high definition black-and-white, a lowlands gorilla sits stoically, throwing glances to his left and right. The surface of the moon glides by, and then a building looms overhead with a foreboding message sculpted over its entrance—“Novus Ordo Seclorum (new order of the ages).” These are the opening shots of experimental filmmaker Godfrey Reggio’s (the groundbreaking Qatsi trilogy) latest unconventional film. Once again he’s paired his astonishing images with the lush, hypnotic music of composer Philip Glass and thrown aside conventional narration. While his 1982 art-house hit Koyaanisqatsi showcased time sped up, he’s slowed it down, way down, with Visitors. There are only 74 shots in its 87-minute run time, but each one of them is a gem. There’s a lot of emphasis on human faces and body movement, and the slowed-down footage of hands texting, scrolling and typing (with the phones and tablets out of frame) is uniquely intoxicating.
Director: Godfrey Reggio
Producer: Phoebe Greenberg, Penny Mancuso, Mara Campione, Jon Kane, Dean Chenoy and Dan Noyes