Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Action!

Once again, it's time for another movie dredged up from the annals of my benignly neglectful childhood. Zabriskie Point was the third movie directed by Michelangelo Antonioni under contract for producer Carlo Ponti. The other two were Blow Up and The Passenger, both just as interesting for their bizarrely fabulous interpretations of 1960s counterculture.

Zabriskie Point is considered one of the greatest disasters in all of movie history (Pauline Kael called it a crumbling ruin of a movie; Roger Ebert said the only appropriate reaction should be pity), and certainly one has to wonder if Antonioni was even being serious. Blow Up, made four years prior, is considered one of the best films ever made. How, then, to explain Zabriskie Point?

You got me. Still, I love it, never mind its earnestly dumb, anti-American Leftist sentiments (which prompted FBI presence throughout the movie's filming) or its grubby Death Valley orgy scene, which, when my parents dragged us to see it ("Don't worry," my father assured my mother, "the kids will sleep right through it."), prompted my mother to bust out in hysterical laughter, my brother to shout out, "Look, daddy! Boobies!" and my father to clamp his hands over my eyes, but not before one singular thought ran through my toddler brain, "Yew. Hippies."

The movie is also famous for its closing scene, the symbolic destruction of American material culture set to Pink Floyd, fodder for stoners every where to fire up and trip out to a full seven minutes of ketchup bottles and kitchen table legs slow mo flung against the bright blue desert sky. Totally rad, man. I mean, if you're a hippie.

Check out more "action" over at Boxer's Place:


Boxer said...

Were your parents, my parents? They took us to movies wayyyyy too old for us and never thought about the impact it might have on our young brains. When my Mother bought tickets to CABERET she asked the ticket taker "anything my nine year shouldn't see?" (bwahahahahahah) and then she said "it will all go over his head" Once again, you've picked a movie I don't know, but your write up is fabulous and this clip is AWESOME and I'm going put it on my list. Great job.

Happy MCW!

Joanna Cake said...

Im sorry but anything with a Pink Floyd soundtrack turns me right off! However, I loved Blow Up (because it had David Hemmings in it) so maybe I'll give this one a go :P

TROLL Y2K said...

Grreherhahahhahaha on the labels comment. Think EVERYONE considered "Die Hard". This melds with your 70s movie theory better though.

Great pick. Happy MCW

moi said...

Boxer: I don't know about your parents, but mine most definitely flirted at the edges of a hippie mindset. Although, mine became quite conservative in their later years. Oh, Lord, Cabaret. Joel what's-his-name scared the pee out of me.

Joanna: Blow Up was fab, wasn't it! A couple decades later, Brian De Palma did a remake of it called Blow Out, with John Travolta, Nancy Allen, and John Lithgow that was also a terrific piece of filmmaking.

Troll: You'd like it. It's got plenty of eye-rolling lefty sentiment for you to throw pop corn at.

LaDivaCucina said...

Hi Moi! You know what cracks me up about your post and how many American parents think? That it's fine to let kids watch movies about violence and blowing things up but show a bit of T & A and oh boy, it's "COVER YOUR EYES, KIDS!"

Too funny.

Karl said...

Wow man...what a blast!

moi said...

La Diva: I know! We're so whack on crack.

moi said...

Karl: :o) Comment of the Day.

LaDivaCucina said...

LOL to Karl!

K9 said...

youre such a hipster, moi. you always go with edgy auteur *sniff* choices...'cept for clerks maybe. blow up was great, i did actually see zabriskie point in my college film class, fell asleep and probably flunked any work that included knowing about it.

the slo mo stuff is more like video art you see now

my best friends dad took us to see the godfather. we were in 5th grade. grherhahahaha

happy MCW moi!

K9 said...

btw, boxer, i recently tried to watch caberet cause you and karl were talking about it. unwatchable is my assessment. gag.

Buzz Kill said...

You got me on this one. I've never even heard of it. I guess if you're going to go to the expense of blowing up a building, you might as well get some mileage out of it on film. That is probably the longest explosion scene I've ever seen. Longer than Heff's Drive-by Poetry flick from yesterday (go to Heff's to see it if you havene't already - you won't be dissapointed).

Happy MCW!