10 June 2011

Someone Should Write a Book About the Making of Zabriske Point (But Not Me)

Someone should write a book about the making of Zabriskie Point (1970)
And its aftermath
But not me
Of course they'd probably have to watch the film
Several times
That's asking a lot
The great Italian director, Michelangelo Antonioni directed Zabriskie Point
You're right
It was not as good as L'Eclisse or L'Aventurra or La Notte
Or Red Desert
Or Blow Up
Hey not even in the same league
Was Zabriskie Point his low point as a director?
The person who writes the book might have an opinion
Strange film
Supposed to capture the spirit of revolution
Of the 1960's
Didn't
Even though Kathleen Cleaver (a real live Black Panther) was in it
And there was a cool opening scene with her and others
Talking about it (revolution)
There were protests and bombs and shootings too
In Zabriskie Point
But then it got weird,
Man
Maybe the book someone would write
But not me, like I said,
would focus a lot on the two main actors
Both of whom were lousy actors
First time actors
Almost last time actors
The woman dropped out of UC Berkeley to be in the film
(Go Bears!)
Her name was Daria Halprin
In fact it still is, for she yet lives
The dude was played by Mark Frechette
He does not yet live
He only lived another 5 years after the film
Died in prison
Was there for a bank robbery
Here's what he said about the robbery:
"There was no way to stop what was going to happen. We just reached the point where all that the three of us really wanted to do was hold up a bank. And besides, standing there with a gun, cleaning out a teller's cage - that's about as fuckin' honest as you can get, man!"
Told you someone should write a book about the making of Zabriskie Point
(But not me)
He died while lifting weights
150 pounds fell on his throat
Hey, this book practically writes itself!
Both Daria and Mark joined a commune
(In real life, not in the movie)
Which in itself is an interesting story
She was only in one other film
But did marry Dennis Hopper
She later founded the Tamalpa Institute
You probably didn't know that it, according to its website:
"Offers classes and workshops for the public throughout the year and a comprehensive training program in movement-based expressive arts education and therapy for people who wish to incorporate embodied creativity through the arts into their personal lives and professional practices..."
Now you know!
The book
(which I won't write)
could have a lot of interesting stuff about how Antonioni cast the film
(I mean Zabriskie Point, of course)
And the many hassles during production
Like people being really pissed off about it's anti American message
Right wing groups protesting
A grand jury investigating -- crazy man, crazy
Also stuff about how MGM tried to cut a lot of scenes from the film
Don't forget the about weird orgy scene
I should say the WEIRD orgy scene
(Actually, to be fair, can you make an orgy scene that seems totally normal?)
And the exploding stuff at the end
Which is actually pretty cool
And the fact that Rod Taylor and G.D. Spradlin were in it
Oh and the reaction to the film
The word mixed comes to mind but details please future author
(Who isn't me)
Not to mention the lives of the players afterwards

(Be sure to check out the You Tube clip I've posted)
Lot of the book
(which I reiterate, I won't write)
should be about Antonioni traveling around the U.S.
His "research" his whole thought process, or as much as can be told
Just as a film Zabriske Point...not so good
But as piece of radical 60's Americana, kind of interesting
As a story about particular people involved in a...let us say
wild and wooly project...really really interesting
Potentially fascinating
It would make a great book
(But not by me)


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