Zabriskie Point (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
This article refers to the 1970 movie 'Zabriskie Point'. For the soundtrack album see Zabriskie Point (album); for the natural monument, see Zabriskie Point.

Zabriskie Point is a 1970 film by Michelangelo Antonioni that depicts the U.S. counterculture movement of that time. It sympathetically tells the story of a young couple — an idealistic young secretary, and a militant radical — to put forward an anti-establishment message.

This cult film stars Mark Frechette and Daria Halprin, neither of whom had any previous acting experience. The screenplay was written by Antonioni, fellow Italian filmmaker Franco Rossetti, American playwright Sam Shepard, prolific screenwriter Tonino Guerra and Clare Peploe, wife of Bernardo Bertolucci. The film was the second of three English-language films that Antonioni had been contracted to direct for producer Carlo Ponti and to be distributed by MGM. The other two films were Blowup (1966) and The Passenger (1975).

The soundtrack album, Zabriskie Point, features music from various artists, including Pink Floyd, The Youngbloods, The Kaleidoscope, Jerry Garcia, Patti Page, and the Grateful Dead. A Rolling Stones track ("You Got the Silver") did not appear on the soundtrack album. The songs by Pink Floyd, Jerry Garcia, and The Kaleidoscope were written for the film.

The film was a notorious box office bomb, attacked by critics and ignored by the counterculture audience that the MGM was courting. The film cost $7 million to produce, and made less than $900,000 in its domestic release. In the booklet that was released with the CD soundtrack, it is unsympathetically declared that

... [c]ritics of all ideologies — establishment, underground, and otherwise — greeted the movie with howls of derision. They savaged the flat, blank performances of Antonioni's handpicked first-time stars, Mark Frechette and Daria Halprin, and assailed the script's confused, unconvincing mix of hippie-buzzword dialogue, self-righteous, militant debate, and free-love romanticism.

More recently, however, film scholars like Robert Philip Kolker and Sam Rohdie have emphasized its importance in Antonioni's filmographyTemplate:Fact.

The name refers to Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, the location of the film's famous desert love scene, in which members of the Open Theatre simulate an orgy.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Zabriskie Point (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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