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How Robyn and Arlo met Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) was an Italian film maker and short story writer. He is best known for his trilogy L'Avventura (1960), La Notte (1961), and L'Eclisse (1962). After accepting a contract with MGM, Antonioni made three English-language films: Blow-Up (1966), Zabriskie Point (1970), and The Passenger (1975). "The first, Blow-Up (1966), amply justified Hollywood's faith, earning praise and profits around the world. But Zabriskie Point [...], Antonioni's rendition of student activism, was a financial disaster" (Bordwell and Thompson 1994, 504-505).

Arlo and Robyn were introduced to Michelangelo Antonioni by Arnaldo Pomodoro (*1926), an Italian sculptor who was teaching at the Art Department of UC Berkeley around the same time as Arlo. Being interested in Arlo, Arnaldo thought that Arlo and Robyn should meet Antonioni. Robyn found out that the lead actress of Antonioni's upcoming film Zabriskie Point was going to be Daria Halprin, the daughter of Ana Halprin, a friend of Robyn's grandmother. Robyn remembers Antonioni, or someone from the production company MGM calling her, and inviting her and Arlo to meet Antonioni, who was currently filming for Zabriskie Point in the Death Valley. Antonioni seemed especially interested in young, tall, blonde, and beautiful Robyn and at first wanted her to come alone. Not really knowing what to expect, she decided against going by herself and took Arlo with her. They flew to Los Angeles and got picked up by a limousine sent by MGM, who then drove them to Zabriskie Point in the Death Valley, where they met Antonioni. Robyn described the people and the set as being quite crazy and animalistic. After the meeting, Arlo and Robyn were sent to Lancaster, where they painted two airplanes, that can be seen in Zabriskie Point.


Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. 1994. Film History. An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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