“What is Zabriskie Point?”
The title Zabriskie Point refers to a mountain Peak in Death Valley, one of the hottest places on earth.
“Is the movie any good?”
“Zabriskie Point” (1970): [from Toapher] I’m the first one to admit that Z Point is not your mainstream, top quality movie, but that does not mean that it’s not worth seeing. It does move rather slowly and the plot is not what I would call riveting. But what’s important is to understand the era in which it was made. The movie was filmed in 1969. This was near the peak of civil unrest in this country [the US]. While the acting might not be academy award material, the movie is a very accurate portrayal of the trials and tribulations of the youth subculture. We tend to look back at the 60’s in a very romantic light, but the truth is that it must have been a *very* difficult time for everyone. Z Point tries to shed some light on that aspect of the era, rather than just portray it in the “Summer Of Love” way.
In addition, there is a sub-plot that pervades the movie. The words to “Crumbling Land” indicate that The Floyd were aware of this and understood what that sub-plot was about. The female lead worked for a group of land developers who were working on creating a community in the desert. They were trying to take a piece of land that was not capable of sustaining human life and transforming it. This required robbing resources from nearby ecosystems, destroying the natural habitats on the site, and polluting an otherwise clean area. The “famous” sex scene that took place at Zabriskie Point itself was a celebration of the natural beauty and purity of the undisturbed landscape.
Available as soundtrack and on video: VHS (NTSC/PAL)
“What is this rereleased soundtrack I keep hearing about?”
The soundtrack has recently (1997) been rereleased by Rhino records, with the addition of four previously unreleased Pink Floyd tracks:
Unknown Song (known as Rain In The Country on many RoIOs)
Love Scene (version 4)
Love Scene (version 6)
Love Scene 1,2,3 and 5 exist, but have never been released. The rereleased soundtrack also adds unreleased guitar pieces Jerry Garcia recorded for the film.
What happened during the soundtrack recordings?
The story behind this movie soundtrack in a nutshell: Pink Floyd were asked by Michael Antonioni to make the soundtrack for his movie Zabriskie Point, the band was for two weeks in Rome, slept late, drank beer, wine and went into the studios around 9 PM, and work until 7 or 8 in the morning. No matter what they did, Antonioni did not like the result: “Eeeeeets very beautiful, but eeets too sad.”
After two weeks of this, Antonioni called a halt to the sessions, and picked three (of the reported eight) completely finished tracks, one of which (Come In Number 51, Your Time Is Up) was a remake of Careful, and was probably the reason the band was asked by Antonioni.
The final soundtrack contained music by The Kaleidoscope, The Grateful Dead, Patti Page, The Youngbloods, Jerry Garcia, Roscoe Holcomb, and John Fahey.
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