Santa Fe, New Mexico – November 3, 2023

The Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) is pleased to announce that in conjunction with the theatrical debut of Godfrey Reggio’s new film Once Within a Time, it is mounting a full retrospective of all of Reggio’s film works (including a short film program never before exhibited in theaters), along with a visual art exhibition titled Interlinear Symbols & Signs: The Creative Processes of Godfrey Reggio.

This cinema celebration also offers the public two opportunities to meet and hear directly from Santa Fe-based filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and his collaborators. CCA General Manager Paul Barnes will host two panels and audience discussions with Reggio and his team on Friday, November 10 and Sunday, November 12.

About the Reggo Film Retrospective

Reggio’s new film Once Within a Time (2023)will be screened four times daily in the CCA Cinema during the week of November 10-16. In addition, CCA will screen Reggio’s complete Qatsi film trilogy in sequence every day – Koyaanisqatsi (1983), Powaqqatsi (1988), and Naqoyqatsi (2002). CCA’s film schedule offers Reggio fanatics the extremely rare opportunity to view his complete trilogy in a one day (with a 2-hour break for dinner)!

CCA is also presenting Reggio’s avant-documentary Visitors (2013) every day in addition to three daily showings of a full program of Reggio’s short films curated by No Name Cinema’s Justin Clifford Rhody. This shorts program includes Reggio’s Public Service Announcement made for the New Mexico Civil Liberties Union(1974), Evidence (1995), Anima Mundi (1992), and a behind-the-scenes documentary on how Reggio made Once Within a Time (2023).

on Monday November 13th at 6pm, CCA will host a one-time-only screening of the film that inspired Godfrey Reggio to become a filmmaker – the Spanish director Luis Bunuel’s Los Olvidados (1952), filmed in Mexico City. This film was an epiphany for Reggio and helped him realize the psychological power of the moving image and how cinematic art can serve as a powerful, mind-altering tool. Before the film, Paul Barnes will give a short talk Reggio’s life and work, and why this film affected him so profoundly.

About the Art Exhibition

INTERLINEAR SYMBOLS & SIGNS: The Creative Processes of Godfrey Reggio is an exhibition of the filmmaker’s pre-production materials and concept boards, drawings, photographs, and related ephemera that contextualize and offer insight into his creative process. Curated by No Name Cinema’s Justin Clifford Rhody, this exhibition features huge (5.5 ft x 3.5 ft) archival pigment prints, unique artist books, and personal items on loan from Reggio’s studio.

An additional component of the art show, which will be on display in the CCA Cinema Gallery (box office), includes sealed, vintage VHS copies of Koyaanisqatsi and newsprint publications from the mid-70s, which will be available free-of-charge to visitors of the exhibition.

About the Art Receptions and Panel Discussions

CCA will host two panel discussions with Godfrey Reggio in person, each organized and moderated by Paul Barnes. Panelists include fellow film collaborators and friends – Alton Walpole, John Flax, Apollo Garcia, James Rutherford, Michael Fitzgerald, and others TBA. (One very well-known collaborator will be making a surprise appearance via a pre-recorded ZOOM interview.)

The panel discussions will be held in conjunction with art-exhibition receptions and screenings of Once Within a Time on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon of the retrospective week:

  • Friday, November 10: Art Reception + Screening + Panel Discussion (reception 5p / film 6p / panel 7p)
  • Sunday, November 12: Art Reception + Screening + Panel Discussion (reception 12:30p / film 1:30p / panel 2:30p)

About the Films

Reggio describes his new film, Once Within a Time, as a “bardic event where children resist their destiny.” He says that the film is “in a sense a rebus…because the language, the signs, the symbols of our day, no longer describe the world we inhabit…the film is in the form of a fantasy of the real with themes of climate change and the perils of technology, and their effects on future generations. It is geared toward children – not the children of the future, children ARE the future. It is their clarion call to resistance and a call to hope. Hope is not something in the mind, it is something real – it is to act.”

The Qatsi Trilogy – Koyannisqatsi (1983), Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002) – certified Godfrey’s name amongst the most highly regarded filmmakers of his time. All three films, along with Visitors, Evidence, Anima Mundi, and Once Within a Time, have been hailed as masterpieces of collaboration between Reggio and composer Philip Glass.

The Criterion Collection describes the Qatsi Trilogy films in this way:

“An unconventional work in every way, Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi was nevertheless a sensation when it was released in 1983. This first work of The Qatsi Trilogy wordlessly surveys the rapidly changing environments of the Northern Hemisphere, in an astonishing collage created by the director, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass. It shuttles viewers from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human beings’ increasing dependence on technology. Koyaanisqatsi’s heterodox methods (including hypnotic time-lapse photography) make it a look at our world from a truly unique angle.”

Five years after Godfrey Reggio stunned audiences with Koyaanisqatsi, he again joined forces with composer Philip Glass and other collaborators for a second chapter, Powaqqatsi. Here, Reggio turns his sights on third-world nations in the Southern Hemisphere. Forgoing the sped-up aesthetic of the first film, Powaqqatsi employs a meditative slow motion in order to reveal the beauty of the traditional ways of life in those parts of the planet, and to show how cultures there are being eroded as their environments are taken over by industry. This is the most intensely spiritual segment of Reggio’s philosophical and visually remarkable Qatsi Trilogy.

In Naqoyqatsi, Godfrey Reggio takes on the digital revolution in the final chapter of his Qatsi Trilogy. Through a variety of cinematic techniques, including slow motion, time-lapse, computer- generated imagery, and found footage, the film tells of a world that has completed the transition from the natural to the artificial. Globalization has been accomplished, all of our interactions are technologically mediated, and all images are manipulated. From this (virtual) reality, Reggio sculpts a frenetic yet ruminative portrait of an era in which the cacophony of “communication” has rendered humankind effectively post-language.”

Having spent nearly 20 years on the Qatsi Trilogy, Reggio’s next project Visitors was not released until 11 years later in 2013. Visitors also has a Philip Glass score and introduces a new collaborator into the Reggio world – editor Jon Kane. Ten years later, Kane became Reggio’s co-director on his next project, Once Within A Time.

Likehis latest film, Reggio moved in a new direction with Visitors – a move that turned the concepts of the Qatsi trilogy inside out. Although the trilogy evoked the destruction of nature through humanity’s headlong embrace of technology, Visitors slows time to a near-standstill as it peers into humanity’s troubled soul, glimpsed through individual faces that sometimes appear to be studying us as intently as we are studying them. Among Reggio’s films, Visitors is the least publicly screened. Including it in this retrospective gives audiences a chance experience the film Reggio made a decade before Once Within A Time, and gain a comprehensive view of this important filmmaker’s full sequence of feature films.

In between making his more famous films, Godfrey made a series of shorts, many of which have never been seen in a theatrical setting. No Name Cinema’s Justin Clifford Rhody has curated this program, which begins with a Public Service Announcement for the New Mexico Civil Liberties Union made in 1974, includes Evidence, Anima Mundi (commissioned by the jeweler Bulgari for use by the World Wide Fund for Nature), and a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of Once Within a Time.

The Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) is located at 1050 Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico.