All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. 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.
→ 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…
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…
Zabriskie Point is rooted in the counter-culture movement that arose in American society in the 1960s. The film's February 1970 release came just six months after the Woodstock Rock Festival was held in upstate New York and three months before the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. The peace-love "Age of Aquarius" was coming to a close and a new era of disillusionment was settling in.
Although viewed from an outside perspective, director Michelangelo Antonioni managed to capture many of the key aspects of this shift on film. He presents the rift between black and white social activists and the disdain of authority felt by students. He shows us police brutality, and he reveals the jaded realm…
Visually, it's beautiful. There are moments that are absolutely stunning to look at. But it's easy to see why it did so poorly when it first came out. It almost seems like a parody of a sixties art film. A humorless, interminable parody. The acting is baffling. The dialogue is reductive and didactic. And as far as character development goes, it seems to be the story of a girl who gets a sense of anti-capitalism fucked into her by a guy who paints a plane like a hippy bus and then wonders out loud if people might mistake it for a mythical bird. It's not as oppressive as Red Desert, but it's not as dynamically engrossing as Blow-Up. I really…
Even more than Easy Rider, Zabriskie Point is the defining film of hippie counterculture. Granted, it's absolutely naïve, and aside from inspiring a certain attitude towards the conservative society, it's fairly inconsequential. Then, again, that's not far from counterculture itself.
This film is a great companion piece when learning about the horrific story of Charles Manson and his Family, since it's in the same zeitgeist, desert orgy included.
See it for its historical value and beautiful images, but don't expect anything like Blow Up.
The eccentricity which drives the first one third of this film seems to either loop back around to a sluggish monotone or climb so far up it's ass that.. whatever. But then, the last two thirds begin to shape up, and you can only widen your eyes to a certain extent and let all that cinema wash over you.
Rebellion has never been more boring.
Antonioni most divisive work, his only one in CinemaScope, and a response to the US counterculture of the late 60s, ZABRISKIE POINT is something far different—and more elusive—than the anti-American screed detractors have made it out to be. Like a number of European artists ranging from Franz Kafka in Amerika to Bruno Dumont in TWENTYNINE PALMS (2003), Antonioni regards the United States as something like a poetic construct. Its spirit of debate and varied topography (particularly the Arizona mountain range of the title) elicit sincere awe, while Antonioni reserves his characteristic dread for police and consumer culture. But even this last subject becomes a source of arresting compositions: Early on, there's an eerie montage of billboard ads that's equal parts…
I'm not a huge Antonioni fan really, but this seemed extraordinarily tedious, even for his often-tedious style of showing disconnect.
Shot hot the heels of Blow-Up's international success, Michelangelo Antonioni flew out to the barren wastelands of Americana in 1968 to make Zabriskie Point which would ultimately be released in 1970 to damning reviews.
Forty five years later and Zabriskie Point looks a whole lot better. While it hasn't quite been reappraised as a lost classic, general consensus seems a lot warmer now. The film acts as curious needle drop on 60s counterculture and captures that time and mentality with real vividity. Sure the skin of it is quite scrappy here and there - the performances especially are nothing to write home about - but the meat and bones are really something.
As with any great Antonioni movie, there are…
A visually intoxicating but empty story of youth in revolt. Few films are so confident in embracing their strangeness. The music choices made the long stretches of nothingness somewhat bearable.
I won't be watching this again anytime soon. It's too slow. Too poorly acted. Too (and I hate to say this but it's true) pretentious. But this is a cinematographic masterpiece. Some of the best use of the camera I've ever seen. I'd forgotten entirely that I'd already seen the final ten or so minutes of the film, which is arguably the greatest music video ever made.
Maybe if you were an angry teenager (on drugs) in the 60s this film would have really spoken to you. I thought it was shit.
Actual line from the film:
"So anyway. So anyway. That should be the name of a place, or a river. The Soanyway River."
FUCK. OFF. That was the whole scene. That's all she said.
By the end of the film I was laughing quite a lot. It was just... oh god... no. Just no. Go home, 60s. You're drunk.