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Deeply informed by Reggio’s roots as a political activist and his years spent as a Christian Brother and Catholic monk, his films challenge traditional cinematic narrative structures and eschew simple interpretations, instead resonating as intensely rhythmic visual poems.collaged footage of time-lapsed and slow motion images is the extraordinary score of composer Philip Glass, whose haunting and rhythmical composition works in tandem with Reggio’s visceral cinematography to create a deeply sensorial cinematic experience.Booking Reggio’s first film in more than a decade was always going to make waves; his immaculately filmed, non-narrative Qatsi trilogy—“Koyaanisqatsi” (1982), “Powaqqatsi” (1988), and “Naqoyqatsi” (2002)—is rightfully ranked among the most important artistic achievements of the last thirty years. For the premiere of “Visitors” at Toronto’s ornate Elgin Theatre, Reggio and his longtime musical collaborator Philip Glass, “Naqoyqatsi” editor Jon Kane, and “presenter” Steven Soderbergh took to the stage.Joining this inimitable quartet were members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to provide musical accompaniment—TIFF director and chief executive officer Piers Handling, clearly giddy with excitement, gestured to the musicians in the pit—making this presentation, as the film’s lovely program book put it, “a live orchestral cinema event.” Before the film began, Soderbergh spoke of it as a project “very much in the Qatsi tradition,” and asked a question that nicely sums up the difficulties in discussing and writing about this new addition to the Reggio canon: How does one describe in words a film that does not include a single one?It is hard not to feel restless as the camera lingers, but it is also difficult not to be fascinated.We have time to study every detail, and when movement occurs, it is undeniably impactful. MAD will also host a master class with the director on January 23.
RARE MASTER CLASS WITH GODFREY REGGIO On Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7pm, Reggio and filmmaker Jon Kane will lead an intimate master class at the Museum and discuss Reggio’s career, collaborations and experiential approach to filmmaking.MAD’s exhibition program is dedicated to creativity and craftsmanship, and demonstrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists.The Museum’s permanent collection is global in scope and includes art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day.date=953176 For more information about the series, visit SCHEDULE Short Film Works by Godfrey Reggio Thursday, January 16, 2014, 7pm Encore screening, Thursday, February 13, 2014, 7pm Free with Museum Admission Anima Mundi (1992)Music by Philip Glass28 minutes Commissioned by Italian company Bulgari as part of the World Wildlife Foundation’s Biological Diversity campaign, Reggio’s works as a powerful speechless-narrative and poetic cinematic essay that explores man’s complex relationship with the natural world.The short film features over seventy animal species and celebrates the variety and beauty of the world’s fauna.