XL Popcorn – Zabriskie Point

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 696/1007Title: Zabriskie Point
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Year: 1970
Country: USA

Last week I proposed that I had a general problem with cop movies from the 1970s. This week I think I need to add another thing to the list of ‘types of films that just don’t click with me’ – counterculture films of the late 1960s-early 1970s. I guess it’s a mixture of two things:

  1. This is the point where a lot of American films are being made that incorporate elements of the French New Wave style
  2. Finding a lot of the members of this counter-culture generation (when depicted in film) to be rather vapid and/or pleased with themselves.

What also did not help is that I went into Zabriskie Point expecting something with a bit more bite. Something that, given the then contemporary arrest of Charles Manson and the immediate ramifications, would actually help to explore the darker and cult-like side of certain elements of this counter-culture. Nope, it’s a fairly silly film.

This is such a shame as I know what Michelangelo Antonioni can do in his native Italy from films like L’avventuraThe only thing that remains of these Italian works in Zabriskie Point is Antonioni’s eye. Seriously, the cinematography in this film is outstanding and some set pieces (like the house explosion at the film’s conclusion) are really well done.

However, the script, acting and the overall plot just does not work. Everything feels so incredibly self-indulgent and ignorant that it is hard for me to find a way to relate to the major characters. Also, there is a subplot involving some desert land being sold for properties… but I don’t know what the point of it was. Then again, I’m not entire sure what the point of the whole film was.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.