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.
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