Our latest addition to the altar of E.O.F. {STYLE IDOLS & DIVINITIES) was the impossibly stunning Mark Frechette, whose stardom originates as the handsome hero of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 counter-culture cult classic Zabriskie Point.

We thought it apropos to delve into the fantastic and fundamental stylish-ness of this poignant and severely under-rated film.

Whilst the flower power movement is mostly seen as Woodstock, flower children dancing in parks, peace, love, and rainbows – the counter-culture movement that began to arise from the horrors of the Vietnam War and injustices in America was also an aggressive and violent force ready for radical change.

Parties like The Weathermen, Baader Meinhoff, and the Black Panthers fought for revolutionary change from the capitalist bourgeoise regimes that still run the world to this day.

Much the way Antonioni’s fashionable masterpiece Blow-Up captured the Swinging London of the mid-60s in his chic docu-stylized manner, Zabriskie Point aimed to shed light on this particular moment in time.

The film even features a cameo by THE political power-force and activist Kathleen Cleaver (who is also very due to be inaugurated to the rank of E.O.F. DIVINITY}!

The turbulently good-looking Mark Ferchette plays Mark, an armed student radical on the run from the cops.

While flying an airplane over the desert he spots Daria Halprin who plays Daria, a gorgeous bohemian goddess who may or may not have a thing for wealthy older business execs, and they engage in an erotic (and dusty) desert orgy.

Whilst a desert orgy might seem like a tried and true climax for any film- the real climax drifts dreamily to Daria’s increasing discomfort and disgust over bourgeoise attempts to redevelop the gorgeous Mojave desert.

What follows this moment of realization is a fantastical finale that tells a thousand thoughts, statements, and poetic musings through the universality of cinema.

This final moment cannot be denied.

SPOILER ALERT!

{WATCH THE FINALE BELOW}

 

If you watched the clip, you can see why Zabriskie Point  is really fuelling our psych-rock summer.

Would have to recommend musing over the desert love scene, if you’re in the romantic mood . . . 

And whether you’re in it to take in all the timelessly cool/counter-culture chic/boho American stylings of costume designer Ray Summers or the epic psych-rock soundtrack that features a theme song by Roy Orbison, and tracks by the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, The Youngbloods, Patti Page, and the ultimate Pink Floyd– this film is ICONIC in every right!!!

Interestingly, both of the films stars were non-actors who both appeared in exactly three films.

Mark Ferchette was a carpenter discovered during a loud argument on the streets of Boston where he allegedly threw a flower pot at a woman, while Daria Halprin was spotted by Antonioni in the Jack O’Connell documentary ‘Revolution‘ which profiled the counter-culture movement in San Francisco.

The two make for a beautiful All-American bohemian brunette couple, whose enigmatic bond is as mysterious as it is inspiring…

 

They gained the status of the first counter-culture couple, and actually maintained a real life romance, which later led to them getting a string of magazine covers, TV appearances, and even joining a cult together.

After all, a couple that joins a cult together stays together! 

 

 

”It put me in a kind of lifestyle and situation that in many, many ways I wasn’t ready to deal with,”

-Daria Halprin

 

Halprin would later leave the Fort Hill Community that was founded by musician Mel Lyman, who was known as the Charles Manson o the East Coast,  while Ferchette was arrested for armed robbery and died in prison from a weightlifting accident joining the notorious Dead at 27 crew.

Whilst the film garnered lack lustre reviews at the time for its meandering plot and docu-surrealism which may have just been a little too ahead of its time.

{watch it now}

But, that’s what’s great about exploring the {PAST} you have the opportunity of looking at it through the lens of the {PRESENT} and hopefully keep the dialogue going into the {FUTURE}.

In a world as messed up today (if not more than)- a film like Zabriskie Point is a fearless reminder of the people who almost 50 years ago cried for change, the timelessness of true style, and the dreaminess of the desert . . .

 

Where did this courage and fight go in our day to day? Have we really been brainwashed to believe everything will be OK?

Sometimes it feels like you just might pull a Daria, too?

Talk about American beauty . . . do yourself a favour and watch this film!

[start PART 1 now]

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Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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