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.