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May 27, 2018, 03:15:35 AM
597674 Posts in 46088 Topics by 6121 Members
Latest Member: SalpetL Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Zabriskie Point (1970) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Zabriskie Point (1970)  (Read 1699 times)
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« on: July 22, 2009, 03:00:50 PM »

Plot: The 1970s. A young radical student is on the run after he becomes the suspect of killing a police officer during a protest. In his journey he meets a young woman in a business trip. Together hey decide to stop at Zabriskie Point, where they exchange experiences and make love.

Comments: The more I grow up the more I hate the current stuff showing in theatres. That's either an undeniable sign of my aging (I'm 32, by the way) or a warning sign that urges me to look for my fun elsewhere. At least this has had a possitive effect, it has led me to watch more arty stuff (a friend of mine has tried to introduce me to early Goddard, but I think I won't cross that line unless I have to) and, specially, to explore the cinema of the 1960s and 1970s, which I find way more rewarding.

Oh, I'm sure they had their share of turkeys too, but now we only remember the gems, and compared to contemporary stuff they look surprisingly fresh and original. Which takes me to "Zabriskie Point". While I was watching it I was completely unaware that the film still appears in many "100 worst films" or "100 biggest flops" lists. Or of the considerable outrage that its shooting caused to contemporary Americans, who even tried to have director Michellangelo Antonioni tried on charges of obscenity. Or of the negative reaction among the counterculture community, who disliked the way they were presented in the film.

And it's a good thing, because knowing all that would probably have prevented me from realising what a great film "Zabriskie Point" is. Yes, it's slow at times, and the acting is amateurish at best, but the visuals alone are so breathtaking anybody entering the room at the time would have though I was in some sort of trance. The plot itself is vague, true, and Antonioni's rumiations on the clash of the stablishment and the disenchanted youth of the 70s are not exactly deep (in short, that their mutual ignorance of each other's nature can only lead to mindless violence, and that an understanding between them is impossible), but by enlarging his focus Antonioni turns them into an epic (and, I'm sure, incomplete) portrait of the America of the time.

And then, of course, are the gorgeous visuals. Scenes like those where the young couple wanders through Zabriskie Point, or they make love in the sand while envisioning themselves surrounded by other couples, or the final images of a house exploding in loving slow-motion are the stuff good movies try to ape for ages. And for good reasons.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 03:03:56 PM by Neville » Logged

Due to the horrifying nature of this film, no one will be admitted to the theatre.
The Burgomaster
Aggravating People Worldwide Since 1964
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 03:16:47 PM »

I've always wanted to see this one.  This also brings to mind MEDIUM COOL, which I also need to see eventually.

"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone."
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 08:59:30 PM »

This movie is an utter 0.  It has no likable characters, no story, and you can practically taste the director's desperation as he tries to dress the movie up with over-the-top "art".  I only finished this with liberal use of the fast forward button.  The endless series of explosions at the end were unbearable and pointless.  But what the hell?  If you don't know how to end your movie, just blow something up!

Kneel before Dr. Hell, the ruler of this world!
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 05:16:44 PM »

Mark Frechette, who made his motion picture debut in this film, had a very short acting career, for very good reasons. Three years after this, he tried to rob a Boston bank, and was sentenced to prison, where he later died in a weightlifting accident. What perhaps is more tragic, a teenage accomplice was killed in the robbery.
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2009, 06:08:29 AM »

I remember an art film fan who was a friend of mine wanted to see this and we survived it.  Barely.  Sleep inducing, rambling and mostly pointless.  Although, I do have to argue that the explosions at the end happened to be the only highlight for me; they served no purpose I thought, but they were fun to watch.

Along the lines of Akiraturo's comments, it was an art film that kept pointing at itself, shouting, "Look at me!  I'm a counter-culture art film. No, really, I am!  I swear!!!!!"
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009, 06:19:17 AM »

If it was, then the counter-culture people didn't believe it.

I don't believe it was, it wasn't exactly kind to those kind of people. actually, in order to gain some sympathy for the main character Antonioni has him heckle a meeting at the beginning of the film. 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2009, 06:21:15 AM by Neville » Logged

Due to the horrifying nature of this film, no one will be admitted to the theatre.
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