Zabriskie point, 1970. Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point was a critical and commercial failure on its release in 1970. Antonioni was accused of not understanding America; the film was seen as a superficial aesthetic engagement with landscape and the emerging counter culture.
Fifty years on, the film’s attunement to capital’s impact on the Californian landscape – an early and trenchant visualisation of what may be called the Capitalocene – is coming into view. Furthermore, in Antonioni’s rendering of the US, any trace of dissent is violently policed; a highly prescient mainstream framing of militaristic management of dissent in the land of the free.
On its half century anniversary, this symposium revisits the film as a precursor of cultural and environmental critique in the cinema. Speakers will draw on contemporary reverberations of the filmmakers vision and his anticipation of material culture will make for a multi-faceted exciting symposium relevant to today's engaged students of film and media.
Symposium organised by Stephen Connolly (UCA) and Matilde Nardelli (UWL) assisted by Emma Reyes (UCA)
[Zabriskie point, 1970. Director: Michelangelo Antonioni]
Schedule of the day:
11:00 - 11:40 Stephen Connolly (UCA) and Matilde Nardelli (UWL)
Welcome & Introduction Revisiting Zabriskie Point at 50.
11:45 John David Rhodes Antonionian Prophood, Exploded (University of Cambridge)
12:20 Teresa Kittler ‘One of these days trees will be as passé as horses’: Michelangelo Antonioni and the ecological imaginary of Italian Art (University of York)
13:00 - 14:00 LUNCH BREAK
14.00 Flavia Frigeri ‘Willing to die but not of boredom’: Destruction and Psychedelia in and around Zabriskie Point (UCL)
14:40 Screening – Salarium dir. Sasha Litvintseva and Daniel Mann (2017)
Followed by filmmaker Sasha Litvintseva (Queen Mary) in conversation with Lucy Reynolds (Westminster)
16:00 COFFEE BREAK
16:20 Tiago de Luca, Responding to Zabriskie Point at 50. (University of Warwick)
16:35 Roundtable Discussion