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 ... See full summary »
Paul is young, just demobbed from national service in the French Army, and dishillusioned with civilian life. As his girlfriend builds herself a career as a pop singer, Paul becomes more ... See full summary »
Emmi, a woman truly in the second half of life, falls in love with Ali, a Berber guest worker more than ten years younger. When they both decide to marry, everybody seems to be against them... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
El Hedi ben Salem,
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)... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Michelangelo Antonioni's leftist politics made the film controversial from the start. The production was harassed by groups opposed to the movie's alleged "anti-Americanism." FBI agents tailed cast and crew members. Filming locations were besieged by right-wingers protesting an alleged scene of flag desecration, which never happened. Militant anti-establishment students worried they were being "sold out". The sheriff of Oakland, California, accused Michelangelo Antonioni of provoking the riots he had come to film. Death Valley park rangers initially refused to allow Michelangelo Antonioni to shoot at Zabriskie Point because they thought he planned to stage an orgy at the site; it was conceptualized, but never seriously considered. The U.S. Attorney's office in Sacramento opened grand jury investigations into both the film's alleged "anti-Americanism" and possible violations of the Mann Act, a 1910 law prohibiting the transportation of women across state lines "for immoral conduct, prostitution or debauchery," during the Death Valley filming. The investigation was dropped, reluctantly, when they learned that Zabriskie Point was at least 13 miles west of the California-Nevada border. See more »
When Mark is stealing the airplane in L.A., the shadow of the camera equipment mounted atop the engine compartment can be seen briefly as he makes a turn while taxiing. See more »
Would you like to go with me?
Wherever I'm going.
Are you *really* asking?
Is that your *real* answer?
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This is the film in Antonioni's middle period that most critics dismiss quickly, as a 'flawed' look at 60s American youth culture/politics. For what it's worth, I found it more touching and memorable than his more acclaimed films like L'AVVENTURA, perhaps because he shows more emotion & empathy here than anywhere else. The story is simple, but it is used as a frame for Antonioni's brilliant observations of, and critique on American consumerist culture, student life, the counter-culture, and the whole anti-establishment, anti-war backlash that was so prominent then.
Even from a purely technical point of view, it is a remarkably crafted film; from the opening credits sequence to the bizarre desert 'love-in', to the use of billboards, and right down to that jaw-dropping, cathartic finale that used 17 camera set-ups (in it's own way, as powerful as the climax of The Wild Bunch). Also, Antonioni chose one hell of a leading lady with Daria Halperin, one of the most beautiful ever to grace the screen. There isn't much 'acting' involved, as this feels more like a docu-drama, and so the use of non- professionals as the lead couple works quite effectively within that context. And the soundtrack is not only filled with marvelous music, its use is impressive as well (I can't forget the start of the film, mostly due to the selection of music - by Pink Floyd - that grooms the visuals so well).
Contrary to popular opinion, this is quite an achievement in cinema, and one I would enthusiastically recommend to anyone with a taste or tolerance for the off- beat. Well worth seeking out, and one of those key films of the 60s that demands a DVD restoration/release.
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