The Gendered Psychology of Political Revolution and Countercultural Dissent in Antonioni's Zabriskie Point

By Pera, Aurel | Journal of Research in Gender Studies, July 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

The Gendered Psychology of Political Revolution and Countercultural Dissent in Antonioni's Zabriskie Point


Pera, Aurel, Journal of Research in Gender Studies


1.Introduction

The kind of montage carried out in Zabriskie Point (1970) enables analogous images to integrate in the typical depiction of capitalist disorder or liberatory negative reasoning (the arena of violence operates as the formal and confined stuff to be shaped). Zabriskie Point pursues an unquestionably disjunctive method to editing in its endeavor to re-imagine radical spectatorship. Its illustrations of Los Angeles and its pervious link with the bordering Death Valley display the worries of a newcomer inspecting a peculiar land (Flynn, 2016) and indicate a striving to sum up the attempts of individuals who counted on redesigning the framework of American society. (Fresko, 2014)

2.ZabriskiePoint's Conflicting Compilation of Cosmopolitan Pictures and Sounds

Zabriskie Point integrates illustrative desertscape sequences with the intention of assessing contemporary lifestyle (the desert is an exemplary area of unbounded space, as it is unreachable enough and the most abandoned, challenging, and unwelcoming of outdoor sceneries). The footage comprising an indecent love-in sequence with quite a few couples in the thick of the breathtaking, even though tremendously uninviting, Zabriskie Valley, is the prolonged flight of imagination, a kind of psychological evasion, that Daria Halprin gains from her concrete sexual encounter (Peters, 2015) there with Mark Frechette. Highlighted by settings antithetical to swarming oppidan existence, such diverting head trips or reveries are an indispensable survival approach in the current world, operating as provisional beguilements from the clamor, overcrowding, structure, and unbending framework of citified experience. The idea of diversion is distorted to the point where Mark's blatant utilization of a stolen plane appears self-defeating. Likewise, Daria's stunning chimeras of both the wasteland love-in (Ferguson, 2015) and the extended detonation of her manager's desert property are discordant with her superficial character. The vast void becomes the site of interminable space when Daria and Mark transfigure it into an original paradise. (Melbye, 2010)

In Antonioni's films, the cogency that is chiefly accountable for cutting edge is specialized. Technological culture is in conflict with that which individuals require to be entirely human. Technology exhibits such insensitive configurations as the vigor that advances its leading edges is the aspiration to circumvent the pervasive constraints of human existence. The protagonists who most effectively associate with the technological realm are to some extent inhuman. Technology reduces the human facet of existence (Nica, 2016a, b) and distorts and disestablishes nature. The sphere of nature represents a compass that is swiftly withdrawing from the novel realm of technology. The latter is a crannied area, one of discrete particulars. The consequence of the male's involvement in technological culture (Popescu, 2016a, b) is human degradation. Male awareness has discontinued too drastically the relation with the unconscious, being disintegrated in the process. Women have bordered on the unconscious origins of human reality (Monzo, 2016), being considerably impulsive, natural and unsophisticated. The women who have dodged widely the threatening repercussions of technologism have a connection with nature that substantiates their extemporaneity and cultivates their humanity. While several women struggle dreadfully to identify manners of repudiating their self-determination, a few women of noteworthy tenacity remain obstinately committed (Horowitz, 2015) to their humanity. (Elder, 1991)

Zabriskie Point's conflicting compilation of cosmopolitan pictures and sounds generating perceptual bewilderment cumulatively designates the city as a ground of aggression. In a society impregnated by intemperate images (Popescu and Ciurlău, 2016), social alteration is based on employing that rampage. An incoherent display of representations uncovers the preposterous unconscious of the American capitalism compelled to legitimize its argumentation via an operation of metaphorical intensity (aggressive advertising). …

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