EventFarnham | DepartmentResearch

14 Feb Symposium: From Counter-culture to the Capitalocene: Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point at 50

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:

10:30-11:00 REGISTRATION

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)


16:20 Tiago de Luca, Responding to Zabriskie Point at 50. (University of Warwick)

16:35 Roundtable Discussion

17:35 END

Organised by Stephen Connolly (UCA) and Matilde Nardelli (UWL) assisted by Emma Reyes (UCA)

Symposium is free to attend; however please register here

Detailed queries to: FilmSymposium@uca.ac.uk