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)
Schedule of the day:
11:00 - 11:40 Welcome and Introduction, Stephen Connolly (UCA) and Matilde Nardelli (UWL)
11:45 John David Rhodes (University of Cambridge)
12:15 Lucy Reynolds (University of Westminster)
12:45 - 13:45 Lunch break
13:45 Teresa Kittler (University of York)
14:15 Flavia Frigeri (UCL)
14:45 Coffee break
15:00 Screening, Followed by Sasha Litvintseva (filmmaker) in Conversation with Lucy Reynolds (Westminster)
16:40 Tiago de Luca (University of Warwick )
17:00 Roundtable Discussion