Zabriskie Point (1970)

Well, I’m glad I didn’t watch the trailer before I watched the film. I love how trailers can be so misleading; how they present an idea about what the film is about, but in actuality, the film isn’t actually about whatever they present. The trailer is the ultimate public image, I suppose. Well, in this case, since there were no ‘stars’ in the film, the trailer had to bring in the audience somehow.

The opening credits of the film really get you excited because the music is done by Pink Floyd, there’s some Grateful Dead apparently….  But in actuality, while the film does have moments of perfectly placed tunes, it’s also ironically devoid of a lot of extradiegetic music. A bit of a let down if you ask me.

The story itself is interesting enough. Boy struggles with revolutionary ideas. Girl’s just trying to make rent, ‘dig.’ Boy and girl meet in the weirdest way possible. Boy and girl bump-and-grind in the gypsum. Depart on their merry ways. Boy dies in a final act of repentant rebellion. Girl has a realization about consumption and ‘blows up’ (haha) her myths about wealth, etc.

The trailer says “Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point” about 10 times in a very serious tone. I actually like how Michelangelo Antonioni attempted to make an Italian film in America. But, to be honest, it just doesn’t pack the same punch as say L’Avventura, or even Blow Up.

I think this film was trying to convey a sense that people are generally in personal turmoil: vacillating back and forth in their decisions about the way(s) they should live their lives. I can relate. It’s not just an easy decision to do this or that; things are more complicated. You can have it in you to steal a plane and paint breasts and phalloi on it, but you can also have it in you to return the plane.  You can have it in you to work as a personal secretary to a C.E.O. to pay the rent, ‘dig,’ but you can also have it in you to choose to not buy into the conspicuous consumption of the rest of America with its manifest destiny and all that.  I get it.

You can and should be both, dig?!

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