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|Rod Taylor||Lee Allen|
|G.D. Spradlin||Lee Allen's Associate|
|Open Theater of Joe Chaikin||Lovemakers in Death Valley|
|Paul Fix||Cafe Owner|
|Harrison Ford||Airport worker [uncredited]|
|Michelangelo Antonioni||Director, Screenwriter|
|David Gilmour||Score Composer|
|Don Guest||Production Manager|
|Earl McCoy||Special Effects|
|George R. Nelson||Set Decoration/Design|
|Pink Floyd||Score Composer|
|Robert Rubin||Asst. Director|
|Harrison Starr||Executive Producer, Screenwriter|
|Ray Summers||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Dean Tavoularis||Production Designer|
|Roger Waters||Score Composer|
Posted October 1, 2010
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Cult film fanatics rejoice! Warner Bros. home video has finally released Zabriskie Point, the long sought after head-trip classic from Italian new wave director Michangelo Antonioni. Panned upon it's initial release, this bizarre, minimalistic observation of 1970s America is ripe for rediscovery by today's more sophisticated movie audiences.
Featuring original songs by Pink Floyd (unavailable on Floyd cds) and existing songs by The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Kaleidoscope, The Youngbloods and a beautiful original solo guitar piece by Jerry Garcia, the film is a deliberately paced collage of incredibly photographed imagery involving radical 60s politics and the satirization of American consumerism.
Antonioni's keen eye for incredibly lush camera angles captures many facets of cliched Americanism (beautifully rendered - in Cinemascope - by cinematographer Alfio Contini) through a series of montages that swerve hypnotically through the streets of LA. These images, combined with the occasional strains of Music Electronic Viva, gives an unsettling industrial feel to Zabriskie Point that predates (and obviously influenced) the work of American new wave directors like David Lynch, Bob Rafelson, Monte Hellman as well as cult-directors like Ray Dennis Steckler.
But Antonioni also allows himself to capture some of the most beautiful areas in California's Death Valley region. The point of the title is a wonderland of breathtaking vistas that serve as a neutral oasis for the film's two central characters, portrayed by new-comers Mark Frechette and Daria Halprin. They are both escaping the mechanization of the city; Mark as an airplane stealing, would-be fugitive and Daria as the poster perfect flower child whose diversion through Death Valley on the way to Phoenix results in a chance meeting that leads to an afternoon of free love amidst the sand swept dunes.
The resulting prolonged love scene (set to the aforementioned Garcia-penned solo) stirred quite a controversy in it's day, and this restored version with extra footage still pushes the film's R rating. This sequence, and the literally mind-blowing finale (set to a remixed, retitled version of Pink Floyd's Careful With That Axe, Eugene) are still the stuff of cult-film legend.
So, unreleased Floyd, dazzling photography and trippy stylization from a world class directing legend; do you need any further convincing. A soundtrack album is also available through Rhino Records and Turner Classic Movies own label; The film and CDs come highly recommended.