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At Zabriskie Point, United States' lowest point, two perfect strangers meet; an undergraduate dreamer and a young hippie student who start off an unrestrained romance, making love on the dusty terrain.
After living seven years with the mechanic Aldo, having a daughter with him, the simple woman Irma is informed that her absent husband had just died in Sydney. She becomes upset when Aldo proposes to marry her and she tells him that she is going to leave him. Unable to explain how much he loves her, Aldo takes their daughter Rosina and travels with her, meeting different women in different places, trying to establish a new relationship and fill the emptiness of his sentimental life. He visits his former lover Elvia; he meets and lives with the widow Virginia, who owns a gas station; he lives with the prostitute Andreina. But these relationships never complete the needy Aldo.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Aldo's way takes him through the northern Italian region he knew in his youth. Gianni di Venanzo's photography is superb, capturing the bleak atmosphere of small towns: houses run down, cheap gas stations, a school in the middle of nowhere. There is nobody like Antonioni for portraying empty spaces leading nowhere.
Aldo is as confused a character as one can find in European cinema. His life with Irma is over-she doesn't love him anymore-but he insists on moving on with his daughter. Elvia and her sex pot sister Edera offer no shelter to this man, who can't afford to bring up a child. He gets lucky, it seems with Virginia and her crazy dad at the gas station, but still he manages to alienate her. The last stop is a rundown shack with a prostitute. The four actresses--Alida Valli, Betsy Blair, Dorian Grey and Lyn Shaw--all play well. Steve Cochran at least has the advantage of a sturdy build even if his acting skills are limited.
If Il grido is not as fine as L'avventura or Le amiche from the early period, it is still very good work.
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