All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
How you get there depends on where you're at.
An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who's helping a property developer build a village in the Los Angeles desert) and dropout Mark (who's wanted by the authorities for allegedly killing a policeman during a student riot)...
To get a stronger grasp on this films ideas and intent one must first comprehend this piece of trivia: Michelangelo Antonioni's original ending was a shot of an airplane sky-writing the phrase "Fuck You, America". Venomous though it may be—and it doesn't need that last shot to drive its message home—it's a markedly seductive and inviting rendition of American socio-political structures through the lense of youthful/foreign cynicism, however patent. If the man's language is guns, you talk to him with a gun, so says a miscellaneous hippie. Antonioni's language isn't the type to end with lingering gun smoke, though watching credits roll by isn't far from it. "The audiences won't like it" MGM insisted, well, "That's the same old jive…
With each viewing, its dramatic "weaknesses" recede and its pure cinematic beauty resonates more clearly.
What Antonioni CAN'T do has always been as mind-blowing as what he can do. See Ingmar Bergman's infamous assessment that Antonioni is an amateur. In this film, Antonioni can't do anything; least of all, film two people talking to each other. Previously he never tried to film a conversation. He makes an honest attempt to do so here, and therein lies the problem: Antonioni doesn't have an honest bone in his body.
We have to have the courage to admit that in the past hundred years all art has been reduced to complaining. An artist is lesser or greater depending on how much he complains. They call it ‘denunciation’. The fact is that it’s complaining, because if it were protest…
Sure, yeah, the leads are terrible and the dialogue betrays the fact that seemingly everyone with a remote connection to the project got a say in it, but this may honestly be, barring some rewatches of Antonioni films I wasn't prepared for at the time, my second favorite of his films after RED DESERT. Alternately wistful and cynical outsider view of America, a place where a hippie can just take a plane and get away with it, until he tries to repent. The callously arranged female models of BLOWUP give way to outright mannequins animated by ad companies who see people only as clotheshorse to prop up their products. Its dream-vision of the States thus ironized, it's nevertheless the most…
→ Part of my Italian Summer Challenge
The counterculture undercurrents present throughout Antonioni’s career epitomize in Zabriskie Point, an alternately wistful and cynical outsider view of America that is more of an ironized dream-vision of the States. As a place where a hippie can just steal a plane and get away with it until he tries to repent, Antonioni views America as a hazily capitalist and off-centered country. The result of this impression is a confusing and multivious film whose thought-provoking trait and aesthetic supremacy make it one of the Italian master’s most inflaming, albeit frustrating, efforts.
The protagonist hippies are Mark, a witty dropout enraged by conventions and thus forever bored, and Daria, an anthropology student who comes to…
This may be Antonioni's half-forgotten masterpiece (although L'Eclisse is definitely better) which acts as a takedown of not just American values and the supposed 'American dream' but proposes the idea that there is no such thing as 'the American value' or 'the American dream' - it's a wondrous anti-celebration of life.
This movie did not move along briskly
I'm pretty sure you could convince me that this film is masterpiece. I'm also pretty sure you could convince me that this film is a piece of shit. I honestly think it's a little bit of both.
Even many of Antonioni's most ardent supporters think this is his worst film and while I haven't seen all of his work, it is clearly a muddled and disjointed effort. What's interesting is that it came at a time when he was at the top of his game critically and artistically after the success of "Blow Up" a few years before. And then just a few years after this he would go on to make another revered masterpiece, "The Passenger" in 1975. So…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The biggest and arguably most controversial film of the Vietnam Era counterculture movement was this MGM production from director Michelangelo Antonioni, the second of an intended three-picture deal following his enigmatic 1966 smash, Blowup. A darling of the arthouse community and international critics, Antonioni had turned ennui into a beautiful art form with his holy trinity of Italian all-star monochrome classics - L'avventura (1960), La Notte (1961), and L'eclisse (1962) - as well as his innovative Red Desert (1964), but the move to Hollywood turned out to be a match made in hell for many of those involved.
Riding high on the youth culture smashes 2001: A Space Odyssey and Yellow Submarine, MGM thought it had another major…
Antonioni's American-made movie is about a semi-political boy (Mark Frechette) and an uncommitted girl (Daria Halprin) and how everything they encounter of American life is cruel and rotten. (They meet in Death Valley.) When the boy is (implausibly) killed by a "pig," the girl sees what must come: the destruction of America (which turns out to be a ravishingly pretty apocalypse). It's a very odd sensation to watch a message movie by a famous European artist telling us what is wrong with America while showing us something both naïve and decrepit; if it weren't for this peculiar sense of dislocation and the embarrassment you feel for Antonioni, this would be just one more "irreverent" pandering-to-youth movie, and (except visually) worse…
Hmmmm still not sure whether that this is a master piece or a disaster. So beautiful to look at though.
Into oblivion we go; beautiful and pointless.
It's a confusing film, because it is hard to figure out its point of view. It is as elegantly constructed as any Antonioni, but in a much less elegant landscape than ever before (Los Angeles and the California desert). Interesting to note, again, Antonioni's connection to theatre, working here with "the Open Theatre of Joe Chaikin", Sam Shepard, and his lead actress is the daughter of the brilliant choreographer, Anna Halprin. All associated with experimental theatre, experimental acting, actors as images/image makers. A bold, explosive film (literally), speaking from a time (nearly fifty years ago) when this nation was possibly even more divided than it is now.
Like Antonioni's previous film Blow-up, Zabriskie Point is a great product of its era but both films are also tedious beyond all belief. Both films showcase Antonioni trying unsuccessfully to make a point by consciously not making a point. While I hated Blow-up unconditionally and Zabriskie Point ended up being almost as bad, for most of the running length I actually kind of liked the film (until the ridiculous, drawn out ending). Without a doubt, most of the movie is bullshit so I don't know why I was so drawn into it; perhaps because it was so unrelentingly irreverent and pointless or because of the flashing traces of anarchic liberalism on display. The film opens with a 10 minute political…
"You got the Silver" by the Stones plays on the radio as pretty girl drives down a desert highway.
"Careful With that Axe Eugene" by Pink Floyd scores an explosion.
And Roy fucking Orbison plays us out.
There is also an angsty late 60s counterculture vibe and some desert sex and....
...this ISNT my new favourite movie of all time?!!!? Or one I even particularly liked?
Strange days, gang.
Think I feel comfortable with this again? The best. Chronological. Constantly in flux.