Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970) is approximately 100 min. too long. I don’t know much about the circumstances, and should do some research, but frankly I’m so over the thing now that I’ve watched it that I can barely be bothered typing this. So here’s my fantasy about its raison d’ĂȘtre: MA had a contract to make three films in English, and he didn’t give a stuff about this one (tho the last one, The Passenger, 1975, is pretty good). Maybe he just really profoundly disliked California. Anyhoo, as they say there, in this film he cast some non-actors and basically just pointed the camera at them while they appeared in several very tedious and loosely-related scenes that don’t make much sense. And he finished it off by blowing up a set, photographing it from seven or twelve angles at the same time. And he stuck fashionable bands in the background music. Really it’s just irresponsible, just lazy.

OK, here’s one scene that’s nearly effective in an Antonioniesque way. The juve lead for whom we’re sposed to have worked up some sympathy by now, despite him intending to shoot a cop and then stealing an aeroplane, flies back to the aerodrome to return the plane, he says, and thank the owner. The cops see him coming back, drive after the plane when it has landed, and shoot the young guy dead, tho he has given them no reason at all to do so. And there’s a complicated-looking crane shot while we take this in, circling above the cars and the plane and finally coming in to land, as it were, looking into the cockpit and seeing the dead dude. Props.

Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970)

reviews | Garry Gillard | New: 1 March, 2017 | Now: 1 March, 2017