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Author Topic: Zabriskie Point (1970)  (Read 7102 times)
The Firecracker
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« on: September 29, 2007, 03:34:50 AM »

Masterful closing shots but not much else.

I found it interesting that the majority of the film was shot in the American west and yet when the characters reach Zabriskie Point ( a well known spot in Death Valley) the area looks suspiciously like Almeria.

I've always noticed similarities between The Badlands and the Almerian desert but I'm pretty positive the "Zabriskie Point", in the film, was shot in Almeria.

I noticed the dried up river bed (where many horse chases in Italian westerns were shot) and a few other landmarks.
But it could be that the real Zabriskie Point looks astonishingly like Almeria.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 03:36:31 AM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2007, 06:53:03 AM »

Can't comment about this new Almeria/ZP controversy except to say I always assumed the film was shot where it was set. Never thought the film was that great (except for the SDS meeting at the beginning, which has the ring of authenticity), so I won't be bothering with the research necessary to know the truth. But, FC, if you come up with anything more, let us know.

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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 08:06:35 AM »

It was shot in Arizona...
Antionioni shot at the same time as Peckinpah shot CABLE HOGUE there. There's a famous anecdote: in 1964 Peckinpah flew to Rome to meet Richard Harris for MAJOR DUNDEE. He was busy shooting DESERTO ROSSO for Antonioni. Peckinpah asked to watch the filming but Antonioni denied. Years later Peckinpah had a road closed down to shoot a scene for CABLE HOGUE. Antonioni wanted to use the road and asked Peckinpah for permission. Peckinpah denied.

Funny, just watched it the other night again. Liked it much better than years ago. Good examle of a non-american artist
reflecting on Hippies, Kent State and what have you. 

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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 12:31:31 PM »

It was shot in Arizona...
Antionioni shot at the same time as Peckinpah shot CABLE HOGUE there. There's a famous anecdote: in 1964 Peckinpah flew to Rome to meet Richard Harris for MAJOR DUNDEE. He was busy shooting DESERTO ROSSO for Antonioni. Peckinpah asked to watch the filming but Antonioni denied. Years later Peckinpah had a road closed down to shoot a scene for CABLE HOGUE. Antonioni wanted to use the road and asked Peckinpah for permission. Peckinpah denied.
Thanks heaps, Mike. You are a great resource for this board. Afro

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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 12:38:53 PM »

It was shot in Arizona...
Antionioni shot at the same time as Peckinpah shot CABLE HOGUE there. There's a famous anecdote: in 1964 Peckinpah flew to Rome to meet Richard Harris for MAJOR DUNDEE. He was busy shooting DESERTO ROSSO for Antonioni. Peckinpah asked to watch the filming but Antonioni denied. Years later Peckinpah had a road closed down to shoot a scene for CABLE HOGUE. Antonioni wanted to use the road and asked Peckinpah for permission. Peckinpah denied.

Funny, just watched it the other night again. Liked it much better than years ago. Good examle of a non-american artist
reflecting on Hippies, Kent State and what have you. 

As far as i know, Zabriskie Point was also shot in Spain, besides the ending scenes being shot in Arizona.   Specifically, ccording to FC, the orgy scene was shot in Spain.

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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 12:40:46 PM »

Thanks heaps, Mike. You are a great resource for this board. Afro

I agree! Mike always makes great contributions to this form! Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 02:16:45 PM »

As far as i know, Zabriskie Point was also shot in Spain, besides the ending scenes being shot in Arizona.   Specifically, ccording to FC, the orgy scene was shot in Spain.


All of it was shot in Arizona except (I believe) the Zabriskie Point sequence.

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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 10:05:57 PM »

Hmmm, I wonder about this. You may be right, but I know that the orgiests were depicted by The Open Theater, and I think it kind of strange that they would fly the troupe all the way to Spain just to do that scene.

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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 10:48:50 PM »

Hmmm, I wonder about this. You may be right, but I know that the orgiests were depicted by The Open Theater, and I think it kind of strange that they would fly the troupe all the way to Spain just to do that scene.

Actually, there may be a reason as to why they flew everybody to Spain.


Antonioni ran into some trouble here in the states during the filming of the orgy scene (indecent exposure or some shit).
It's quite possible  they had to can the footage they started with and re-film the scene in Almeria.

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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2007, 12:09:04 AM »

Actually, there may be a reason as to why they flew everybody to Spain.


Antonioni ran into some trouble here in the states during the filming of the orgy scene (indecent exposure or some shit).
It's quite possible  they had to can the footage they started with and re-film the scene in Almeria.

that seems very possible.. who's brave enough to look it up?

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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2007, 12:31:35 PM »

It's an interesting idea.  I'm not sure though.  I remember reading something in which Antonioni talked about Dennis Hopper.  He liked him and had some appreciation for Easy Rider.  Apparently he got to know him a little bit, because the production paths of Easy Rider and Zabriskie Point crossed somewhere.  Not sure if that was in the desert,  Arizona or in California.   I do remember seeing something about the controversy regarding the orgy scene and Antonioni having difficulty with MGM.  Antonioni had to cut the film against his wishes and there was possibly another cut of the film as he had intended.  I don't remember seeing anything about leaving the U.S. to film scenes because of the controversy.  I'll have to check a couple of books I have to see if there's anything that can be added here.....   

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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2007, 09:33:12 AM »

After the surprise Hit BLOW UP MGM sort of gave Antonioni Carte Blanche. It was a very troubled production though. Antonioni didn't get along with the American crew very well. And he didn't speak the language too of course. He brought more Italians over than ther guilds would allow so MGM had to provide 'fake' crew members, in top-positions, who would stand around while Antonioni and his gladiators shot the film. It went over-budget too. The 'orgy' stuff became a sort of gossip in LA during shooting, kinda 'Antonioni is doing weird European Sex-stuff in the desert..'   
The head of MGM (forget his name, Polk ?) had to deal with strange stuff, as anybody (authoroties) that was in touch with the production tried to boycott, sue or sabotage the filming. MGM became more and more scared about what Antonioni was doing. After the film wrapped MGM took the film away from Antonioni and did an awful short cut. Luckily for Antonioni, Polk left during post-production and Jim Aubrey took over. He liked Antonioni and let him take the film over to Rome to finish it savely. The MGM-suits flew over not knowing what to expect, prepared to dumb the film. Aubrey saw it, claimed 'Masterpiece' and gave Antonioni a 3-picture deal with all the freedom a film maker can dream of (PROFESSION: REPORTER was the next one).
One of the few good things Aubrey did. Two years later he tortured Blake Edwards & Sam Peckinpah and did exactly the opposite (destroying films)...and shortly afterwards MGM closed down for good.

I'm kind of an EASY RIDER expert but I never heard about the HOPPER-ANTONIONI connection. I'd be very interested in new informations Smiley. Antonioni took forever to make that film, so it's very likely he met Hopper. EASY RIDER was shot in the summer of '68 and was ready for release in April/May '69 (Cannes; US release in summer of 69). Antonioni shot in LA & Nevada between late 68 and mid-69. So he was there.

Around that time Jim Morrison shot his roadmovie feature too (HWY  = Highway). It is RIDERS ON THE SORM as movie.
THE DOORS were supposed to provide L'AMERICA for the film. But Antonioni & Rock Stars didn't get along too well.
On the PINK FLOYD DVD Making Of Dark Side Of The Moon (great) the band talks about their difficult relationsship with Antonioni. Too bad, their music would have been perfect. Only two songs remained. But Richard Wright used his ZABRISKIE ideas for USE & THEM!

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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2007, 09:37:54 AM »

Antonioni & the American Desert...


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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2007, 10:36:29 AM »

Masterful closing shots but not much else.

I found it interesting that the majority of the film was shot in the American west and yet when the characters reach Zabriskie Point ( a well known spot in Death Valley) the area looks suspiciously like Almeria.

I've always noticed similarities between The Badlands and the Almerian desert but I'm pretty positive the "Zabriskie Point", in the film, was shot in Almeria.

I noticed the dried up river bed (where many horse chases in Italian westerns were shot) and a few other landmarks.
But it could be that the real Zabriskie Point looks astonishingly like Almeria.

It's been a while since I been around...I hope everyone is well.

RE: I had some correspondence many years ago with one of the actor's who was an extra for the scene in question.  There was call for extra's and he got the part...it was shot at Zabriskie point, not Spain. They went out in a bus to the location for a one day shoot.  He said that Daria Halprin was a really sweet person and and of course beautiful, getting to see her love scene in person for him was quite the highlight Smiley.  He said the sand had a gold tint to it and it was a really unusual location.

Mark Frechette the lead actor died or was killed in prison in 1975-76? after a foiled robbery attempt in 73.  I think he took his $50.000-60.000 from the film and put it into some sort of commune outfit...what a waste of a life Cry

Daria was at one time Married to Dennis Hopper appx 1972-76.  Produced one child. I beleive she now owns a cultural center called Tamalpa Institute.

Cheers,

Eric

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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2007, 01:29:15 PM »

Well then, Zabriskie Point looks a lot like portions of Almeria.

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