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…
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.
at Prince Charles Cinema, London - "Hazy Road to Inherent Vice" all-nighter. 5/6.
How can a big studio make a true counter-culture film? It can't, but MGM sure gives it the old college try. The studios will chase money even when it's against their own interests, and tries to make a film that's supposed to bite the hand that feeds it. Perhaps it succeeded, because the movie was a bomb. The only way to really hurt MGM is make it bleed money, but it didn't die. Anyway, the film... This isn't an Antonioni film. It's Antonioni's home movies of his vacation in California. Check out the endless scenery. Despite lovely photography, this dull, pretentious movie is only interesting in its last 15 minutes when Antonioni finds something to critique that's near and dear to his heart - modern architecture.
No denying the beautiful cinematography throughout the film, but for me the second half is where it all falls apart. You can pinpoint the start of the second half when the Daria character has to act for more than 10 seconds: she's mind bendingly bad, you dig? Kudos for the Pink Floyd bit (but shitsos for not letting it be the end of the movie), other than that this movie is as facile as it's made out to be.
Even though his scenes were cut, I still watched Zabriskie Point as part of my Harrison Ford filmography initiative. You can see him for literally a few seconds in the police station scene in the first twenty minutes.
Some of the movies I have endured in my quest to see all of Harrison Ford's films have felt like homework - and the first 35 minutes of this one was the worst yet. I had to make myself keep watching. Fortunately, once the young man got in the plane I became more interested in the movie.
It started off really interesting, with the student meeting planning a college protest, but after that it was a jumble of scenes filmed oddly that…
Post 60s Antonioni is not worth watching
I like a lot of parts of this film, the issue is that the film as a whole lacks cohesion and appears to be a mashup of all the points that define sixties and seventies cinema. While each of these parts are well shot and a perfect representation of the time and mood of the culture, they are all shoved into one film. I would have much preferred the plot progressing as an anthology film, I feel that would have been a much more effective film.