Saturday, January 10, 2015

520. Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

It has been quite awhile since we have heard from Antonioni and I don't remember leaving him on the best terms (ahem...Blowup).  However, this was a pretty great film and really felt like it captured a beautiful moment in time.

Mark is a young protestor who claims that he is willing "to die for the cause, but not of boredom".  Here's a recommendation, Mark: don't watch some of the films on this list.  After fleeing a violent protest, he steals a plane and seduces Daria, a stereotypical 60s teenager.  A lot of what happens next doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but the cinematography is so beautiful that you don't really care either way.

I really expected to hate this movie.  Don't get me wrong; I certainly thought it dragged on a bit longer that it should have.  Still, there were such beautiful moments that the entire film was worth it.  The explosion at the end?  The way the police officer enters the name "Karl Marx" as "Carl Marx" when Mark gives it as his alias?  The orgy scene?  Okay, wait.  The orgy scene was pretty weird.  Still worth it.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Harrison Ford can be seen in the background of the jail scene.

James Caan's least favorite film of all time.

The main actor in the movie, Mark Frechette, died in prison after robbing a bank.  He dropped a barbell on his neck.  See, this is why I don't work out.


  1. A minor surprise.. like yourself, I'd have expected you to very much dislike this one.
    I'd been wanting to see this one for .. years.. Since not long after it came out in fact. I'd had the soundtrack for ages - copied from LP onto cassette on the other side of - Guess what - yes, the Easy Rider soundtrack.
    I remember way back in the 70's it being a bit of a cult.. and bitterly regretted missing the one re-run showing it ever had in the arts cinema in the city I lived in then.
    Even come the age of DVD I couldn't get hold of it.. and it wasn't until I was able to get a R1 player and get this on import did I eventually find out what it was all about.
    So I went into it with huge hope and expectation...
    It's very much a thing of it's time isn't it .. and in some ways it hasn't aged that well, but..
    I think I'll come out almost alongside you on this one Amanda, but a little higher due to me still being a of an aging hippy, and it's capture of a time and mood. Only really dragged down by the very weird orgy.

  2. I usually like Antonioni, but this one was a meh for me. He was supposed to make a movie about American counterculture, but seemed to have misunderstood it. For Antonioni the counterculture was about doing whatever you felt like without having a reason to do so. That sentiment come out pretty clear. Unfortunately, his was an old man's European intellectual view on it and for the American target group he completely missed the mark. Pretty pictures though.