Answers to Questions Youth Must Understand
Last night I watched Zabriskie Point for about the twelfth time. I catch it every three to four years, and it seems a little less pretentious to me each time. It played an important part in my formative years, like something peaked at through a key hole since my parents would not respond to my demands that they take me to see it. (My amazingly hip grandmother, who took me to see The Boys in the Band the same year, would not cave in on this one.)
One afternoon in 1969, I came home from middle school to find the above copy of Look magazine with the image of Mark Frechette on the right answered a question that hadn't been all that mysterious to me anyway. It certainly cleared up any doubt about why I had no interest in going to the honor society banquet with Darla in my civics class.
Frechette is not exactly a one hit wonder since he did two other movies afterwards, albeit in Italy. As far as I know, he's the only guy to star in a movie and then be put in jail for holding up a bank to garner funds for a commune. He died in prison at 27 when 150 pound barbells he was lifting choked him to death. Someday I will have to track down the documentary on his life, Death Valley Superstar.
Two years later, I moved on from my obsession with Mark Frechette to Mark Spitz. (It's fittingly ironic that the below clip is from the same episode of the Dick Cavett Show that I posted a couple of weeks ago.)