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Zabriskie Point

Released: 1970

Genre: Romance

Runtime: 1 hr 50 min

MPAA Rating: NR

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Starring: Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin

Antonioni’s masterpiece about the ‘60s counterculture.

The director captures everyimage here with breathtaking clarity.

Review by: TomElce

Added: 1 decade ago

It's a great motion picture that becomes a cultural artifact and Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point is just that. A heartfelt epic detailing the closing years of the '60s in America's changing political landscape, Zabriskie Point arrived too soon for its prospective audience to fully appreciate it and the engaging commentary it made on that iconic decade of United States history. Thirty-nine years later, the cinematic significance of Antonioni's masterpiece is as crystal clear as Peter Watkins' oft-overlooked Punishment Park. Observing the political and social turmoil of the time are young protagonists Mark (Mark Frechette) and Daria (Daria Halprin), the former a dropout and suspect in the shooting of a cop at a student riot, the latter an anthropology student. Their convergence occurs in the shape of an iconic Death Valley sex scene, one of several examples of director Antonioni's filmmaking skill. The director captures every single image here with breathtaking clarity, turning in an aesthetized examination of a doomed-to-failure, youth-led counterculture wherein images as seemingly inoccuous as those of billboards stick in the head. A fine sequence involving a small plane repeatedly swooping inches over a car is one of Zabriskie Point's great "can't look away" moments. Great films pass the test of time, but masterworks improve all the more over it -- the terrifically perceptive and audaciously unconventional Zabriskie Point is one such achievement.

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