Toraanisqatsi - Toronto out of balance

For some visual stimulation see Leif Harmsen's TORAANISQATSI (music score by Bob Wiseman), a "remake" of Koyaanisqatsi, the film name comes from the Hopi word, meaning life out of balance. The film shows slow motion and time-lapse photography of cities and the U.S. landscape, meant to depict the increasingly fast-paced modern lives.

Toraansiqatsi obviously hopes to live up to the same vision of depicting the fast-paced Toronto living, though its not-so-subtle subtitle of "Shit out of balance" detracts from the whole effect.

From the Koyaanisqatsi website:

As the general focus of the QATSI Trilogy is the technological milieu, it is the purpose of this site to foster a web-dialogue on this little understood, yet ubiquitous subject – the nature of technology. What we know about the subject is vastly promotive, over-the-top positive, coming to us from the producers of global technology. A glowing wonderland of unlimited opportunity is promised by the good life of the technological order. Infinite capacity, virtual immortality, super human cognition – attributes that have until now been reserved for the divine are indicated for technology. A new technological pantheon has been established in the horizonless world of the Blue Planet.

But is technology what it appears to be? Have we looked behind the shimmer of its glowing surface? Very little, if anything, reveals its meaning through mere appearances. Most everything is more complex, full with a universe of hidden dimensions. Is technology an exception to this common experience? Or, have we accepted its truth as the truth? Is technology a new and comprehensive environment, the host of life, that has replaced the natural order? Is technology the new universal religion? Can faiths unquestioned become our prisons? Should we place blind faith in the techno-clergy of the new order? Does the computer reproduce the world in its own image and likeness? Is technology a mere tool, as we are told, that can be used or misused depending on one’s intentions? Is technology neutral? Does it possess a life of its own? Is it the effect of technology on this or that (the environment, etc.), or is it that everything is situated in technology? Has technology become an addiction, an altered state that we cannot live without? Is technology a way of living? Do we use technology or do we live technology? Is it our consciousness that informs our behavior or is it our behavior that informs our consciousness? Do we now live in a world beyond the senses, in a micro-universe, where small is dangerous? Is technology synonymous with the machine or has it become ordinary daily living?


What a gorgeous film ... captures Toronto better than anything I can think of.
Leif Harmsen?

Hey Tino...I'm sure you know who Leif is. He's the Surfbike guy!

I corrected the spelling of his name. I think that's what Tino's on about. My apologies!

the music! excellent music. so errol morris.

The subtitle of Koyaanisqaatsi was "Life out of Balance", but 20-some years on now I think we can afford to be more honest about the increasingly bleak situation. I saw the original movie of a god's-eye view of America - god being the ultimate outsider. Anyone detached from petty immediate concerns would see the epic tale unfold of human industry expanding to the point where it suffocates itself with its own exhaust and engulfs itself in its own flames. Just in case anyone here in Toronto thought they were somehow above or detached from that narrative, I made this remake entirely shot on location in Toronto on Super-8 (and a WWII tripod borrowed from Martin Heath at Cinecycle) from my bicycle. Anyone who liked this film might also like my project "The Yet Better Way" - which you can see at my website

pennyfarthing ok frye