Antonioni in America

Zabriskie Point, 1970. Director Michaelangelo Antonioni’s first film set in the United States. 

“This is such a silly and stupid movie, all burdened down with ideological luggage it clearly doesn’t understand, that our immediate reaction is pity.”
Roger Ebert

“I don’t like to dwell on things. It’s one of the reasons I’m so bored with Antonioni – the belief that, because a shot is good, it’s going to get better if you keep looking at it. He gives you a full shot of somebody walking down a road. And you think, ‘Well, he’s not going to carry that woman all the way up that road.’ But he does. And then she leaves and you go on looking at the road after she’s gone.”
Orson Welles

“All this rancor is a little hard to fathom today. Recently issued on DVD for the first time by Warner Home Video, Zabriskie Point is of a piece with Antonioni’s best work: a luxuriant portrait of spiritual alienation with a sense of place far more expressive than its blankly beautiful characters.”
Dennis Lim, Slate

“Today it feels like a monumental film, one that expertly captures the surreal chaos of America in the 1960s with scenes of revolutionary meetings, police crackdowns, Death Valley orgies, and that sublime, unforgettable climax.”
Bilge Emiri, The Village Voice

“It’s a movie about politicized students, and it takes seriously the conflicting drives for effective protest and comprehensive revolution, for concerted action and personal fulfillment, for a rich community life and transcendent inner vision. It is—as all of Antonioni’s best movies are—a work of philosophy in cinematic form.”
-Richard Brody, The New Yorker