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Author Topic: Zabriskie Point (1970)  (Read 7028 times)
Noodles_SlowStir
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2007, 11:02:57 PM »

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.

Mike, I looked for what I had read.  It was in one of the books I had and not on a web site somewhere.  I picked up a book in a used bookstore called The Architecture Of Vision, Writings & Interviews On Cinema by Michelangelo Antonioni and published by Marsilio.   Itís kind of Antonioni in his own words.  It has four sections which consist of his own writings and then the last two are interviews.

Hereís what I remembered about Hopper and Antonioni.  This is from a chapter called The World Is Outside The Window and is originally part of an interview from a film journal, Filmcritica  #252, March 1975 and an article entitled Il Mondo e fuori dalla finestra.

Have you seen much of the underground in America?
Yes, I have seen enough of it.  I think that it has accomplished one thing, and that is to influence commercial, high-budget cinema.  A generation of directors has been created that is different from the Hollywood ones.  This is because their working spaces and tools are different.  I saw the places where these people work.  They are incredible, small workshops with small cameras.  They make films with very low budgets, shooting in the streets, or in houses, or in their little studios.  But they have extraordinary poetic intuitions.  I saw many beautiful things.  After all, even Easy Rider has shown the underground influence on the cinema, especially with the use of those quick flashes that anticipate the following sequence.

Did you like Easy Rider?
I thought it was a sincere film.  I know Dennis Hopper well.  He was shooting his film not too far from me, in the desert, when I filmed Zabriskie Point.  They lived in tents and came to see me every once in a while.  Behind this story there is a real America.  I find it to be a skillful but genuine film.  I do not know if you have the same impression.

No.  For example, it used many patterns used in commercials.
That is true, but it is also true that these patterns are part of their linguistic background, and so, after assimilating and reworking them, these films are sincere in reexpressing them.  America is an odd country, which offers a lot of material.  You find yourself in the middle of it and you canít help but show it in your films.  I think that Sugarland Express is much more artificial.  It is a film that has a Hollywood-type gloss, and this bothers me.  Much more than in Duel In The Sun, which is a more original idea developed with great enthusiasm, except that in the end it is far too melodramatic. (pp 178-179)




I think either in the translation from Italian, the editing, or unintentionally by Antonioni, he was referring to Spielbergís Duel not the Selznick Vidor film Duel In The Sun.  It's actually referred to a couple of times this way so not sure it was Antonioni's error.

It doesnít reference the interviewer either.  At the conclusion of the chapter and interview it lists these names: Michele Mancini, Alessandro Cappablanca, Ciriaco Tiso and Jobst Grapow.

Still looking for information on the location shot of the love and group scene.  Also I remembered reading something about what transpired with MGM and the editing.  Still looking on that.  What I've found so far does agree with what you and Eric say.  Antonioni was fascinated with the actual Zabriskie Point location and it is described as having been dried out due to the water needs of the City of Los Angeles.   


« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 11:32:05 PM by Noodles_SlowStir » Logged

mike siegel
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2007, 03:01:16 AM »

THANKS NOODLES !!

Interesting. So he really shot that thing forever.

As for DUEL IN THE SUN, does it become clear on the other pages you mentioned that
he was referring to DUEL? Otherwise it could be DUEL IN THE SUN, why not. It is a very
special film hailed by many film makers (even in Scorseses JOURNEY THROUGH AMERICAN FILM),
and the ending is too melodramatic.

As for the love scene: Until there's a definitve proof, I claim all of the film was shot in the US.
Near Death Valley, Arizona / Nevada desert...

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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2007, 06:16:42 PM »

I'm with Cartman on this one. "God damned hippies!"

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Noodles_SlowStir
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2007, 02:29:29 PM »

Interesting. So he really shot that thing forever.

As for DUEL IN THE SUN, does it become clear on the other pages you mentioned that
he was referring to DUEL? Otherwise it could be DUEL IN THE SUN, why not. It is a very
special film hailed by many film makers (even in Scorseses JOURNEY THROUGH AMERICAN FILM),
and the ending is too melodramatic.

I remember Scorsese referenced Duel In The Sun.  I think he said it was one of the first films he saw in the theater and the wide screen vistas had a great impact on him.  Youíre right, Duel In The Sun, could definitely fit there.  I thought the same.  There are a lot of moments in the interviews in which Antonioni is asked about America...American culture and American directors.  Particularly in the interviews after he had completed Zabriskie Point and The Passenger.  There are two other references to Duel In The Sun in which itís very obvious that heís referring to Spielberg.  I looked in the index and they list it as Duel In The Sun (Spielberg).  The references are in different interviews.  I really believe itís an error in translation or editing by the publisher.  Itís still a really nice book.  This publisher also put out similar kinds of collections for Roberto Rossellini and Luis Bunuel.

Like you've pointed out, the film took a long time to make.  In this collection there's also an interview with Alberto Moravia, he comments a little bit on locations and tells him that he plans to take a long time to complete the film.

Where have you gone to scout the location for Zabriskie Point?
I traveled a lot: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Barnstone, Death Valley, Sacramento, Miami, Cape Kennedy, Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Montreal, Dallas, Houston.....

And which locations have you chose?
I have decided on Los Angeles and Arizona.

How did the story come about?
I had some notes on America.  The story took shape from these notes.

How long will it take?
A film takes one year.  This one will take a year and a half, maybe two years.
(Pg. 303)




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