I heard yesterday, with this post half-completed for a couple of months, that Antonioni had died.
LA is beautiful. I’m not sure if that’s the point Antonioni is trying to make in Zabriskie Point, but he makes it anyway. And Death Valley, as it appears in the film, is beautiful too. What are we to make of the pairing here? The easy way to read it would be as a romantic opposition: the unspoilt beauty of the desert vs. the degenerate construction of the city. But Antonioni blocks this interpretation whenever it appears as a possibility in the film. In part, this is necessitated by the very nature of LA—as a city, its so strangely unfinished and temporary, a landscape of shacks thrown up along monstrously overgrown dirt roads; any competent depiction of LA (and Antonioni’s is more than competent) cannot posit the city as civilization to nature’s other. Read more↴