Zabriskie Point (1970)

Zabriskie Point (1970)

“There’s a thousand sides to everything — not just heroes and villains.”

A fugitive revolutionary (Mark Frechette) flees to the desert, where he meets up with a beautiful young woman (Daria Halprin).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Counterculture
  • Deserts
  • Michaelangelo Antonioni Films
  • Revolutionaries
  • Road Trip
  • Rod Taylor Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, Michaelangelo Antonioni’s confusing, “politically ambiguous”, pro-revolutionary box-office failure features a “myopic vision of [consumerist] America, full of piggy cops:

… flabby tourists, hungry workers, and fat cats.” It’s clear why black and white youths of the day would want to join together to combat this logy society:

Unfortunately, it’s much less clear exactly how the film’s protagonists (Frechette and Halprin, terrible non-actors) plan on achieving this.

The bizarre magical realism of the desert orgy scene (the exact meaning of which is unclear) shifts the story into over-drive, leading to the film’s “stunning” yet ultimately unsatisfactory “explosion-filled finale”.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Breath-taking cinematography of Monument Valley

  • A good rock score

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look simply for its notoriety.

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)


One thought on “Zabriskie Point (1970)

  1. An almost-inexcusable waste of time.

    Nothing really works here.

    Well, as always, Rod Taylor is quite nice to look at but poor Rod seems to have wandered in from somewhere else.

    Actually, everybody here seems to have wandered in from somewhere else. Esp., of course, the leads. YIKES! What atrocious acting!

    The whole thing screams self-indulgence and ‘artiness’. No substance in evidence.

    Antonioni made at least a handful, maybe, of memorable films. But I can’t begin to guess what he thought he was doing here. It’s mind-numbing stuff.

    Apparently it didn’t go over when it was released (if I recall). And it looks ancient now – so what will ffs make of it decades from now? Hmm…

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