St. Cloud will have five days of Godfrey Reggio Feb. 22-26.
The public will have the opportunity to view four of the pioneering documentarian’s films before getting the chance to hear directly from him.
Reggio is coming to St. Cloud as part of St. Cloud State University’s Creative Art Series. One film of Reggio’s famous Qatsi Trilogy — “Koyaanisqatsi,” “Powaqqatsi” and “Naqoyqatsi” — will be shown each evening at 7 p.m. Feb. 22-24 in the Performing Arts Center’s Ruth Gant Recital Hall.
Reggio’s Qasti Trilogy explores the relationship between technology and nature, and first and third world cultures.
The names of the three feature-length films come from the Hopi language and feature the music of Philip Glass, as does his newest film “Visitors.”
- “Koyaanisqatsi — Life out of Balance”
- “Powaqqatsi — Life in Transition”
- “Naqoyquatsi — Life as War”
The series switches to Reggio’s most recent work, “Visitors,” which will be screened at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Paramount Theatre, followed by a question and answer session with Reggio.
The Reggio series concludes with a master class at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Ruth Gant Recital Hall. This “Inside the Actor’s Studio”-inspired class will feature Reggio sitting down with St. Cloud State film professor Brad Chisholm who will ask questions about how Reggio made his groundbreaking films.
Parking is $3 after 6 p.m. Feb. 18-March 4 in the 4th Avenue Parking Ramp.
All five events are free and open to the public.
Reggio’s films do not have the narrative structure of a Hollywood film. They are a marriage of visuals and music to produce a poetic whole, said Mark Eden, mass communications professor and organizer of the Reggio series of events.
“Each film is open-ended enough to allow for a variety of interpretations encouraging the viewer to personalize their experience with the individual film,” Eden said. “… He respects his audience enough to realize that by fostering this collaboration a greater personal richness and significance will be arrived at by the viewer.”
Eden first brought Reggio to St. Cloud in 2006 for the Voicings festival, which featured a three-night screening of the Qatsi Trilogy with an appearance by Reggio on the final night.
Reggio does not produce traditional cinema. Audience members should suspend their expectations and allow themselves to experience Reggio’s vision in order to find a whole new world of understanding and entertainment, Eden said.
“There is no spoken dialogue. It is the marriage of visuals and music to produce a poetic whole,” he said.
Hearing from Reggio will be an experience in itself — from his wisdom and warmth to his passion for the arts and his belief that cinema can be a transcendental experience, Chisholm said.
“There was cinema before ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ and there is cinema since ‘Koyaanisqatsi,’” Chisholm said. “The screen arts changed notably as a result of that film and its reception. ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ defied all categories. … Reggio showed us that feature films were capable of so much more than we had ever thought.”
— Brad Chisholm, film studies faculty member
During the master class, Chisholm will explore Reggio’s collaboration with the composer Philip Glass, about how he captured the imagery in his films and how the groundbreaking films were funded and brought to theaters.
He’ll also open up the class to questions from the audience.
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to sit down with Godfrey Reggio,” he said. “Imagine — to be able to watch a film and then talk to that film’s creator. Is there a more satisfying experience for any lover of film?”
The Reggio series is the sixth event in the School of the Arts’ 2015-16 Creative Art Series. The 10 events in the second-annual series are designed to expand students’ experiences and the public’s perspectives by introducing them to new concepts and perceptions in the School of the Arts four disciplines — art, film, theater and music.
Each visiting artist in the Creative Art Series offers a master class workshop for students and presents a free public performance to open the experience to members of the public. The series also includes highly-celebrated events by St. Cloud State’s own students and faculty.
The Reggio series is supported by Townsquare Media and a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, thanks to the voters of Minnesota and a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.