Zabriskie Point

Film, Action and adventure
3 out of 5 stars
Zabriskie Point

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Michelangelo Antonioni’s first American feature was a critical and commercial disaster on its release in 1970, but it’s enjoyed something of a quiet renaissance in the years since. Both views have their merits: this is a visually sumptuous experience, steeped in period charm. At the same time it typifies the very worst excesses of hippie-era filmmaking: rampant indulgence, self-satisfied narcissism and truly dreadful performances.

Opening with a gripping, clamorous debate about the nature of violent protest, the film ultimately focuses on navel-gazing dullard Mark (non-actor Mark Frechette) who steals a private plane and heads out into the desert where he meets office girl on the lam Daria (Daria Halprin). The pair wander aimlessly, indulge in rambling non-sequitur conversations and inevitably end up rolling about in the dust.

Criticising an Antonioni film for being slow and insular risks missing the point, but there’s a shallow emptiness to ‘Zabriskie Point’ that can’t be forgiven. That said, the music is terrific, few directors ever shot barren landscapes better than Antonioni and the breathtaking, explosive, gravity-defying final five minutes achieve something close to perfection.

By: Tom Huddleston



Release details

Release date:
Friday October 24 2014
110 mins

Cast and crew

Michelangelo Antonioni
Tonino Guerra, Clare Peploe, Fred Gardner, Sam Shepard, Michelangelo Antonioni
Kathleen Cleaver
Mark Frechette
Paul Fix
Rod Taylor
GD Spradlin
Daria Halprin
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