YMMV: Koyaanisqatsi

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The Movie. Godfrey Reggio said that the entire experience was up to the viewer. For instance, after "The Grid", there's a lone patient (whose arm is the only visible part of her) whose blood IV has come out, and it waving desperately for someone to help. Is it a stark look at isolation, or a Heartwarming Moment because a nurse comes to help her? Another shot is of a disheveled vagrant who seems to be a little mentally disturbed grinning at the few coins in his hand - is he happy at having some money to eat with, or is he pathetically deluded at the pittance in his hand?
  • Crowning Music Of Awesome: The whole thing. One of Philip Glass's best-known works, and with good reason.
  • Doing It for the Art: Aside from Reggio, Francis Ford Coppola was one of the major backers of the experimental film. While George Lucas and Golan & Globus backed Powaqqatsi.
  • Ear Worm: Philip Glass's music will get will get stuck will get will get stuck will get stuck get stuck stuck will get stuck stuck get stuck in your head.
    • The Anthem from Powaqqatsi is another Ear Worm.
  • First Installment Wins
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A lot of people watch the film patiently waiting for the penultimate 15 minute "The Grid" sequence.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The haunting and ominous title track is sometimes used to convey Tranquil Fury.
    • "The Grid", full stop.
  • Newer Than They Think: Superspeed time lapse photography was new. Only TRON and Pink Floyd: The Wall had employed it - and only briefly.
  • Older Than They Think: Many viewers think the exploding rocket was the space shuttle Challenger, which was destroyed three years after this movie came out. The explosion filmed was with an unmanned Navy Atlas rocket, about 20 years earlier.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The time-lapsed sequences of cloudscapes, scenery, traffic, and walking crowds have been very widely imitated, but you saw it here first.
  • Technology Marches On: Believe it or not, time lapse photography was relatively new and few people ever experienced it at this scale.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: And all the better for it.