At a time of chronic civil unrest in the USA at Zabriskie Point, in Death Valley, CA, two perfect strangers meet; a young revolutionary and an anthropology student who start an unrestrained romance, making love on the dusty terrain.
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 <email@example.com>
One hundred people participated in the orgy scene, half of them from Joseph Chaikin 's Open Theatre company, and the other half "made up of assorted hippies." 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 »
It would be nice if they could plant thoughts in our head; so, nobody would have bad memories. We could plant, you know, wonderful things we did - like a happy childhood, real groovy parents, only good things.
Yeah and make out and forget how terrible it really was.
That's the point! Nothing's terrible!
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In the original version, the song that's playing when Daria drives away at the very end and over the closing "End" title card is a Roy Orbison song, but in the 1984 MGM/UA Home Video version it's a continuation of the Pink Floyd song. The 1991 MGM/UA Home Video version restores the Orbison song. See more »
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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