“Fuck You, America”: Looking Back at Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point

“Certainly there is a delirious look in the film, especially in the ending. Well, as an artist, I assert my right in delirium, because today’s delirium might as well be tomorrow’s truth.”
Michelangelo Antonioni

 

Riotous times

Throughout the sixties and until the early seventies, the modern world was experiencing significant commotions and fermentations. It is the period that has been charted into people’s collective memory as the one that changed us forever. For America it was the end of innocence, the fall from grace. Coming out of a long period of social conservatism and fragile prosperity, United States were about to be inflicted by a series of disturbing political and social occurrences.  The Vietnam War, Nixon’s election, the Watergate scandal, the Chicago riots, the Kent state shootings, the Manson Family murders, only to name a few. Those events had a huge impact on the society. A whole new generation of political activists, leftist protestors and indignant youngsters emerged. Sociologist Theodore Roszak called it: the counterculture[1].

The counterculture movement propagated in the early sixties and sustained in the United States -as well as the better part of the western world- for almost fifteen years. It began as a protest against the Vietnam War, but quickly got involved into all the new age demands, such as the restoration of human rights, the assertion of women and gay rights, sexual liberation and free speech implementation. The involving youth were distinguished by a certain code of thought, behavior and lifestyle:

The term “counterculture” falsely reifies what should never properly be construed as a social movement. It was an inherently unstable collection of attitudes, tendencies, postures, gestures, “lifestyles”, ideals, visions, hedonistic pleasures, moralisms, negations and affirmations. These roles were played by people who defied themselves first by what they were not, and then, only after having cleared this essential ground of identity, began to conceive anew what they were. What they were was what they might become – more a process than a product, and thus more a direction or a motion than a movement[2].

Counterculture went through a great deal of criticism, not only back in the sixties, but in recent years too. American academic Allan Bloom was one of the most zealous foemen of the uprising of the students and the occupancies of faculties during the sixties. In his top-selling book, Closing of the American Mind, he outlines: “So far as universities are concerned, I know of nothing positive coming from that period; it was an unmitigated disaster for them[3]”. Conservative powers, as well as voices of a more progressist part of society, were too hasty to condemn the whole movement as a fantasy of a misguided youth, which turned to drugs and sex in order to stand out, however, without trying to interpret it, without asking themselves who was to guide it. But when a society reaches its nadir, it’s only justifiable for its youth to be stranded. There is a memorable quote in the Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider that construes interestingly America’s opposition towards counterculture:

They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to them. […] What you represent to them is freedom. […] But talking about it and being it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killing and maiming to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare them[4].

Unfortunately, counterculture movement would soon betray its own principals. Once noticed by businesses and corporations, in got transformed into just another trend. Idealism turned to consumerism, radicalism to conformity, bohemianism to dominant lifestyle. In his indispensable study The Conquest of Cool, writer and journalist Thomas Frank argues that the counterculture generation was co-opted by the capitalist system. Corporate forces used its ideas and iconography for profit’s sake. It was a whole new market:

And even though countercultural sympathizers are willing to recognize that co-optation is an essential aspect of youth culture, they remain reluctant to systematically evaluate business thinking on the subject, to ask how this most anticommercial youth movement of them all became the symbol for the accelerated capitalism of the sixties and the nineties, or to hold the beloved counterculture to the harsh light of historical and economical scrutiny. It is an intellectual task whose time has come[5].

Of course, Hollywood would not come out of this hippie frenzy empty-handed. After the unexpected success of Easy Rider, a new target group emerged. Counterculture should have its own cinema. Nevertheless, everybody in the corporate business knows, or should know that consumers are an often unforeseeable mass. Many of the counterculture films, including the nonetheless critically acclaimed Two-Lane Blacktop, did poorly at the box-office. The most characteristic case of the commercial letdowns of that era is undoubtedly Dennis Hoppers’ The Last Movie, a film he originally intended to make as his directorial debut, but was unable to, due to the lack of financial support. When Universal Pictures saw the youth’s reaction to Easy Rider, decided to give Hopper a carte blanche[6], to shoot whatever he wanted, the way he wanted it. They gave him complete freedom. When the film came out, however, they were more than horrified. It’s critical and commercial failure had disastrous consequences on both the studio and Hopper himself, who didn’t direct a film again for more than a decade.

 

An Italian in America

Enter Michelangelo Antonioni. In the late sixties, the Italian auteur was at a new peak in his career. Producer Carlo Ponti gained Antonioni the rights to direct three English-language films for major studio M-G-M. The first one, Blow-Up, which came out in 1966 was a big success, both artistically and commercially. When it was announced that he was called upon to direct a movie about the counterculture in the United States, the anticipation was at the highest level. Americans considered Antonioni as one of the greatest contemporary directors.

But the Italian knew where he was going. He was aware of the system that employed him and the way it worked. He was sharing the views of those who already realized that counterculture was not too innocent a movement in front of the prospect of profit:

The establishment, especially in America, has an ability to absorbed the revolution. Rock music is big business. The presidents of the record company are part of the power structure; they’re friends of the police. Revolution -as a word, not an act- has become very fashionable… you have to be careful. Revolution is commercial[7].

When Zabriskie Point premiered in the States, just a after the first reviews came out, American critic Guy Flatley interviewed the director for the New York Times. Antonioni answered willingly to the anti-Americanism accusations against him:

My basic reason for making a film in America was that I love this country. I love the landscape – that’s why I chose Death Valley, because it’s so beautiful and not because it’s dead. This is also the most interesting country in the world at the moment, because of what’s going on here: the contradictions, many of which exist everywhere but which are already crashing against each other here. That’s what I tried to show in Zabriskie Point[8].

Antonioni’s regard as an outsider is more objective and critical, than a possible indigenous version. Critical not only towards authority, but also towards youth. He believed that they wanted freedom, but they didn’t know how to reach for it. The delineation of his main male character, as a reckless -almost suicidal- youngster, so eager so action that completely discharges any kind of theoretical basis is a palpable example of this belief.

 

The Mann Act, the Avatar, and other strange backstage stories

Despite the fact that M-G-M was dealing with some substantial in-house issues (it changed three president during the shooting of Zabriskie Point), once the project got the green light, Antonioni was financed with the -by no means inconsiderable- amount of seven million dollars to carry out his ambitious project. The studio was clearly targeting on the ever-growing market of the hip youth. The film, however, summoned a disastrous total gross of $891,918 in its limited US release.

Zabriskie Point suffered from a troublesome production, even from the very beginning. Known for his leftist views, the Italian filmmaker confronted the crème de la crème of the American conservatism. While shooting in California, where a number of real riots broke loose, he got charged by the sheriff of Oakland for provoking them. Extreme groups lynched the production and right-wingers protested against the film’s anti-Americanism notions (on one occasion complaining about a scene where an American flag is being desecrated, a scene that never took place); even the FBI got involved, tailing certain members of the cast and crew.

When the filming was completed, the attorney’s office in Sacramento called upon eleven crew members to testify before a grand jury about the film’s alleged anti-Americanism, as well as possible violations of the Mann Act, a law enacted back in 1910 that prohibits the transportation of women across the state lines “for immoral conduct, prostitution or debauchery”. The accusation concerned the famous love scene in Death Valley, which lead to the dropping of the investigation when denunciators realised that the location was about 13 miles west of the California-Nevada border:

Personally, I didn’t have any trouble with the Justice Department. I was out of the country at the time of the investigation. I understand that a girl said that I had asked her to do oral intercourse in the film, which is absolutely ridiculous. I’m not crazy, after all. And there was no violation of the Mann Act in the love-in scene, either. What I wanted were the attitudes, the gestures of love. Those people from Joe Chaikin’s Open Theater were acting, not doing[9].

Perhaps the most peculiar backstage story is the one behind counterculture’s most iconic couple, Daria and Mark Fachette [10]. They were both picked up by Antonioni himself under truly queer circumstances. He spotted Daria Halprin in the 1968 hippie movement documentary Revolution, directed by Jack O’ Connell, citing poetry nude somewhere in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. He explained in Look Magazine that it was her “bratty, free, earth-child quality” that made an impact on him, so he went on looking for her. Mark, on the other hand, was located by the casting directors in a bus station, screaming “Motherfucker!” at someone inside a near building. In the same interview, Antonioni claimed that Mark had “the elegance of an aristocrat, though from a poor family. There is something mystical about him”.

Antonioni already had an ill reputation about his collaborations with actors. He once quoted that “actors are like cows: you have to lead them through a fence”. Although he developed a favourable relationship with Daria, his collaboration with Mark was turbulent. And the twenty-two year was altogether dismissive towards the director. In a notorious 1970 television interview on the Dick Cavett Show, Mark complained: “I was desperate. Working with a guy with his reputation and what he knows about cinema. I wanted to learn something. But he wasn’t teaching. So I got mad”.

But their story doesn’t end here. Mark had a background of arrests due to misbehaviour and drug use. His acquaintance with a cult created by a man called Mel Lyman, which was dealing with the combination of psychedelic drugs and folk music, distorted the clarity of his way of thought. He tried to turn Antonioni on to Lyman’s views and was caught distributing copies of the cult’s publication, an underground magazine entitled Avatar, on the film’s set. During the shooting of the film, he got involved into a relationship with Daria and seduced her with his bizarre pursuits. He persuaded her to follow him to live in Lyman’s commune outside Boston and to offer their complete earnings from the movie -a good sum of sixty thousand dollars- to the cult.

The couple was on the spotlight of the American media. Even so, a few months later Daria decided to abandon the commune due to its male dominant -ever misogynist- nature. In 1972 she got married to Dennis Hopper, a relationship that lasted for four years. Daria Halprin pursued a new career in dancing, following her mother’s footsteps. As for Mark Fachette’s outcome, his recklessness preceded him. He got in prison in 1973 after robbing a bank, as a protest against the Watergate scandal. Two years later, while exercising in the prison’s weight room, a set of barbells fell on his throat and choked him to death.

 

America hates Zabriskie Point

When Zabriskie Point was released in 1970, American critics, in a flagrant display of conservatism and profuse nationalist conscience, passionately renounced the film. Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert stated in his review: “Antonioni has no feeling for young people… He has tried to make a serious movie and hasn’t even achieved a beach-party level of insight[11]”.  John Burks’ review for Rolling Stone magazine was equally deprecatory: “Corny? You bet your ass it’s corny… Antonioni has constructed his movie of so many lame metaphors and bad puns that it’s staggering[12]”. Columnist Richard Cohen viciously attacked Antonioni in person, writing in Women’s Wear Daily: “He is an ignoramus… Antonioni has offered us his contempt. We give it back to him[13]”, while other voices exceeded every common sense of restraint: “That son of a bitch. He ought to be shot[14]”.

 

A certain reading

Zabriskie Point.
A remote and barren blister of land on the American desert.
As isolated as the face of the moon.
Zabriskie Point.
Where a boy and a girl meet…
and touch…
and blow their minds![15]

Zabriskie Point’s plot is exquisitely simple, not to say simplistic. Two youngsters escape from their flawed reality, meet, make love and then separate again, to their own paths and destinies. However, it is a film that can be viewed in many ways. Its rich subtext is open to multiple readings. It could be interpreted, for example, as s poetic account of a revolting generation, or as a political parable about the decay of consumer society. In another interpretation one could see the film as an exercise of auteur aesthetics, an exercise in which style prevails over substance. In a strange way, it accomplishes being all of those things together and, on the same time, none of them.

First of all, it would be wrong to presume that it represents an entire generation, along with its ways of thought and act. Films are nothing more than certain viewpoints. And it may be a fact that Zabriskie Point captures many of the counterculture’s truths, but it still remains Michelangelo Antonioni’s version of it:

It’s very easy for an American to say to me, ‘You’re an Italian; you don’t know this country. How dare you talk about it!’ But I wasn’t trying to explain the country – a film is not a social analysis, after all. I was just trying to feel something about America, to gain some intuition. If I were an American, they would say I was taking artistic license, but because I’m a foreigner, they say I am wrong. But in some ways a foreigner’s judgment may be…not better, necessarily, but more objective, illuminating precisely because it is a little different. […] Of course I didn’t say everything that could be said about America. My film touches on just a few themes, a few places. Someone can say this is missing or that is missing. Well, of course it is. The story is certainly a simple one. Nonetheless, the content is actually very complex. It is not a question of reading between the lines, but one of reading between the images[16].

The plain story of the films works in an abstractive -even surreal at times- way. Some of the characters’ actions flow a feeling of irrelevance, while the exiguous dialogue sounds corny. Antonioni’s loose narrative is a conscious mechanism to draw one’s attention elsewhere. It is not by mere chance that in the scene where the couple paints the stolen airplane, turning it into a colourful hermaphrodite jungle freak, one of the quotes that are written on it is: “No words”. This is a method with which the director attempts to achieve a new language that is much closer to cinema as a form of art, the visual language.

During a recent viewing of Zabriskie Point, I broke it down and, referring semiology, I tried to draw deeper meanings. It is the findings of this analysis that I intent to discuss in the following lines. Firstly, I separated the film into three conceptual chapters, which are distinguished by different tones, themes and visual approaches. Then, by investigating the signs, I came up with some interesting notions and interpretation.

The film’s beautiful opening sequence, with its blurry close-up details, sets up the tone of the whole movie. It takes place in a university session where students are called up to decide whether they are having a strike or not. There are some strong race representations in this scene. Black students body the revolutionaries, while the white ones express a more conservative ground. Our main character, Mark, is introduced here as a youngster who is eager to take immediate action, standing on the other edge of traditional leftist who are infamous for talking and planning, rather than acting. His line: “I’m willing to die too, but not of boredom”, forebodes his future. “That bourgeois individualism that he’s indulging in is going to get him killed”, a student remarks. His destiny is somewhat already known to us.

This first chapter works in two levels: on one hand there are the student riots and on the other, there is corporate America. If Mark is part of the first level, Daria is part of the second. Working as a secretary in a big establishment, she is setting off for a trip in search for some peace of mind, escaping her uninspiring environment and pushy boss (and lover?).

Antonioni’s illustration of corporate America is a clear statement against capitalism. The huge advertising billboards are always disturbingly present in the background. The tension created by this imagery is so masterfully built, as if the consumer society and its trash is just about to explode like a time-bomb (and it will in the grandiose finale). Businessmen are represented as greedy faceless people, whose only worries concern earning more money. There is a scene in which Daria’s boss drives with his colleagues. The news on the radio are reporting the casualties of the Vietnam Wars and the student riots. However, the dialogue inside the car is outrageously irrelevant:

-Did you see this?
-What’s that?
-We have seven centimillionairs now.
-Who’s we?
-California. Texas just had four. New York still has the most.
-Well, so far that is!
-Heh, that’s right.

On the meantime, the riots reach their climax. Shot in a very direct, documentary-like style, heavily influence by cinéma vérité, they are depicted realistically, not as a fair battle against depression, but as the bloody confrontations they really are. Authorities’ arbitrary use of violence leads to two dead bodies, a student’s and a policeman’s. Mark is accused for the second, so now it’s his turn to run away from his reality. He notices an airplane in the sky and the idea is already planted in his head. He passes a billboard of an airline company with the tagline: “Let’s get away from it all”.

The second level of the film deals largely with escapism, seen through an almost metaphysical dimension. The two young fugitives run away under the liberating sound or rock music (this is the first time we hear real music, rather than psychedelic noise). They will meet in an archetypical American landscape, a place sculpted by God himself called Death Valley, where they come into a primitive-like human condition. Naked in front of the surreal formations of stone and sand, as if Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they will make love surrounded by angels. In his article in the book Shocking Cinema of the Seventies, Benjamin Halligan connects this love act with a sense of escape and denial, a desire of embracing a sensual world, rather than the real, but sterile one[17]. Their act is a statement, even a political one. They make love because they can. It is their way to declare their existence.

The love scene is quite memorable. Mark and Daria are joined by many imaginary youngsters. Their careless play in the sand flows a great sense of freedom. It brings to mind images from naked Woodstock, combined with modern dance improvisations. The sweet tunes of the guitar solo create a dreamy atmosphere, signalling a celebration of life in contrast with the dead scenery of the valley.

But before the love scene there is another important sequence, in which one can find some interesting gender representations.  It is the scene of Daria and Mark’s foreplay, which takes place not between their bodies, but between the vehicles they ride (a counterculture homage to the famous airplane scene in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest). There is a number of symbolisms that lies here. The woman is driving a car, which is an element of the ground, of the earth. This could stand for stability. The man, on the other hand, drives an airplane, which is an element of the air and stands for unstableness. The woman is portrayed constant, while the man is fleeting. When they will arrive at Zabriskie Point, Daria will find it peaceful, while Mark will find it dead. He is not to be settled. This restlessness of his will later lead him to his own death.

On the third and final conceptual chapter, the film reaches its coda. Daria hears on the radio about her lover being shot dead by police forces. She arrives at her boss’s exotic resort, a paradise on earth for the wealthy and the privileged. The dialogue between her boss and his fellows is inaudible. Words are meaningless. There is nothing comforting in the real world anymore. The young woman will flee. The time-bomb is set in her mind’s eye. She will demolish everything modern society has become. A world we did not create, but were forced to accept and live in to. The compelling final sequence, shot with 17 cameras running in an ultra slow-motion, accompanied by the psychedelic musical fusions of Pink Floyd, is actually a moment of self awareness and redemption. Free from all the restraints of materialism, our heroin will drive away into the red sunset, towards a more meaningful, fulfilling life. Smiling.

 

Cult following

It is hard to categorize Zabriskie Point. It’s not a drama, nor documentary, nor a historical piece, although it borrows elements from them all. Its peculiarity does not allow it to belong to any kind of genre. For sure, it’s a counterculture film. And, in many ways, it can be treated as the perfect cult film. Arguably, one of the fundamental issues about researching cult media is the very definition of the term. The most comprehensive one that I found is from the useful companion The Cult Film Reader:

A cult film is a film with an active and lively communal following. Highly committed and rebellious in its appreciation, its audience regularly finds itself at odds with the prevailing cultural mores, displaying a preference for strange topics and allegorical themes that rub against cultural sensitivities and resist dominant politics. Cult films transgress common notions of good and bad taste, and they challenge genre conventions and coherent storytelling, often using intertextual references, gore, leaving loose ends or creating a sense of nostalgia. They frequently have troublesome production histories, colored by accidents, failures, legends and mysteries that involve their stars and directors, and in spite of often-limited accessibility, they have a continuous market value and a long-lasting public presence[18].

Applying this definition to Zabriskie Point, one can realize that the film answers to almost every single aspect of it. Firstly, from a narrative point of view, the film is strongly experimental. The dialogue is exiguous, the storytelling is incoherent and, as mentioned before, it surpasses genre norms. It is a film that provokes a sense of dispute and anti-conformity, containing radical ideological components. Its eventful and arduous production, its protagonists’ strange story and its notoriously negative critical reception, plus the fact that it was largely unavailable for years, made it look like Antonioni’s bastard offspring.  Although it was his least known film, Zabriskie Point was popular among specific groups, such as arthouse film enthusiasts and university communions, with many frequent campus screenings and debates all around the world. It recently became a word of mouth and got developed into a common demand, which lead to last year’s first UK and US release to DVD and a general mood for reevaluating this misunderstood piece of art.

 

Instead of an epilogue

The first time I watched Zabriskie Point was in my primary year at the university. It was an eventful year for Greek higher education, as the government intended to establish a new, unfair law, dealing with the privatization of the universities and the imposition of charges in a -up to that point- free educational system. Student strikes were raging across the country, but the unions in our university, located in the most remote part of northern Greece, were unable to make a decision.

The screening was organized by two scholars from another university and followed up by commentary and debate. Nobody knew anything about this film, but after seeing it, everybody -including myself- was compelled and inspired by it. We realized that we had the power to change things. It was our future they were dealing with. So we had our own strike, as well. And the fact that Zabriskie Point, which was made forty years ago, can still appeal and inspire new generations, does not only make it a cult film, it makes it a great film.

The bill was thrown out.

 

Further Readings

On counterculture movement:

Anders, Jentri. 1990. Beyond Counterculture. Washington, DC: Washington State University Press.

Roszak, Theodore. 1995. The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.

Goffman, Ken & Joy, Dan. 2004. Counterculture Through the Ages. From Abraham to Acid House. New York, NY: Villard Books.

Gair, Christopher. 2007. The American Counterculture. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

Braunstein, Peter & William Doyle, Michael, ed. 2002. Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960’s and 70’s. New York, NY: Routledge.

Heath, Joseph & Potter, Andrew. 2005. Nation Of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publisher.

Frank, Thomas. 1997. The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Doggett, Peter. 2007. There’s a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars and the Rise and Fall of ‘60s Counter-Culture. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate Books.

 

On counterculture cinema:

Biskind, Peter. 1998. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock ‘N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Halligan, Benjamin. 2002. The New Mesmerica: Zabriskie Point, The Last Movie and Two-Lane Blacktop. In: Mendik, X., ed. Shocking Cinema of the Seventies. Hereford, UK: Noir Publishing. pp: 15-28

King, Geoff. 2005. New Hollywood cinema: an introduction. London, UK: I. B. Tauris

Gair, Christopher. 2007. The American Counterculture. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

 

On cult film:

Mathijs, Ernest & Mendik, Xavier, ed. 2008. The Cult Film Reader. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.

Mendik, Xavier, ed. 2002. Shocking Cinema of the Seventies. Hereford, UK: Noir Publishing.

 

On Michelangelo Antonioni:

Arrowsmith, William & Perry, Ted, ed. 1995. Antonioni: The Poet of Images. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Brunette, Peter. 1998.The films of Michelangelo Antonioni. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Chatman, Seymour. Duncan, Paul, ed. 2008. Antonioni: Poetry and Motion – The Film Art of Michelangelo Antonioni. Cologne, DE: Taschen.

 

Footnotes

[1] Roszak, Theodore. 1968. The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition. New York, NY: Doubleday.

[2] Braunstein, Peter & William Doyle, Michael, ed. 2002. Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960’s and 70’s. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 10.

[3] Bloom, Allan. 1987. Closing of the American Mind. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. pp. 320

[4] Jack Nickolson as George Hanson. Easy Rider, 1969.

[5] Frank, Thomas. 1997. The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 32-33

[6] Medved, Harry & Dreyfuss Randy. 1978. The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (And How They Got That Way). New York, NY: Popular Library.

[7] Doggett, Peter. 2007. There’s a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars and the Rise and Fall of ‘60s Counter-Culture. Edinburgh: Canongate Books. pp. 238.

[8] Flatley, Guy. 1970. Antonioni Defends Zabriskie Point: I Love This Country. The New York Times, 53 (March 7), pp. 36-39.

[9] Flatley, Guy. 1970. Antonioni Defends Zabriskie Point: I Love This Country. The New York Times, 53 (March 7), pp. 36-39.

[10] Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict. Return to Zabriskie Point: The Mark Fachette and Daria Halprin Story. Available at: http://www.popcultureaddict.com/movies/zabriskiepoint.htm

[11] Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times. Zabriskie Point. Available at: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19700101/REVIEWS/1010322/1023

[12] Burks, John. 1970. Fourteen Points to Zabriskie. The Rolling Stone, n. 53 (March 7), pp. 36-39.

[13] Flatley, Guy. 1970. Antonioni Defends Zabriskie Point: I Love This Country. The New York Times, 53 (March 7), pp. 36-39.

[14] Same as above.

[15] Voiceover from the original 1970 theatrical trailer.

[16] Flatley, Guy. 1970. Antonioni Defends Zabriskie Point: I Love This Country. The New York Times, 53 (March 7), pp. 36-39.

[17] Halligan, Benjamin. 2002. The New Mesmerica: Zabriskie Point, The Last Movie and Two-Lane Blacktop. In: Mendik, Xavier, ed. Shocking Cinema of the Seventies. Hereford, UK: Noir Publishing. pp: 20

[18] Mathijs, Ernest & Mendik, Xavier, ed. 2008. The Cult Film Reader. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press. pp. 11.

 

January 2010 / Brunel University / MA Cult Film & Television / Shocking Seventies Cinema
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