Dir/DoP Ron Fricke
The first time I saw this was when my first cinematography mentor, an older student at UNCSA, bought an Asian Bootleg of it because he couldn't get a legit copy even through Amazon. We were huge Baraka enthusiasts so this was special. I later found a legit copy in Borders, years later though.
This certainly feels like a dry run for Baraka, but that's not a bad thing. This film was an experiment. A shot in the dark, as much as one can be for a master craftsman. He designed and helped machine his own IMAX camera capable of doing complex time lapse photography, something that every IMAX film does today. At the time it was a do or die mission of beauty, and in theory a fairly simple task. Each time lapse sequence is done like stop motion, only instead of moving characters on a miniature set, Fricke and co. allow nature to take its course and frame it in interesting and striking ways. Then the up the ante by moving the camera through these strange and beautiful evironments.
My only qualms with this film is its length (approx. 45min, at the time IMAX and OMNIMAX films couldn't run much longer) and the use/over use of step processing, a technique I've only warmed to on five or less occasions. Still, personal problems aside, this is a masterpiece that should be reveled in. Its a mediative film that uses a beautiful synth score and stunning imagery to free your mind for 45 minutes. No drugs needed.
The Blu Ray was gorgeous, a must own for HD/Home Theatre enthusiasts.