"Fellini, Kurosawa and Bunuel move in the same field as Tarkovsky. Antonioni was on his way, but expired, suffocated by his own tediousness."
- The Magic Lantern
"He's done two masterpieces, you don't have to bother with the rest. One is Blow-Up, which I've seen many times, and the other is La Notte, also a wonderful film, although that's mostly because of the young Jeanne Moreau. In my collection I have a copy of Il Grido, and damn what a boring movie it is. So devilishly sad, I mean. You know, Antonioni never really learned the trade. He concentrated on single images, never realising that film is a rhythmic flow of images, a movement. Sure, there are brilliant moments in his films. But I don't feel anything for L'Avventura, for example. Only indifference. I never understood why Antonioni was so incredibly applauded. And I thought his muse Monica Vitti was a terrible actress."
- Jan Aghed, "När Bergman går på bio", Sydsvenska Dagbladet, 12 maj 2002.
Fahey is now past the five-year bout of Epstein-Barr Syndrome that made his life hell in the mid-to-late '80's. "I could feel it when it entered me and I could feel it when it left," he says. "That's when I was at my apex of drinking. I had to drink a lot of beer for the energy. I didn't play nearly as much. I talked most of the time. That's because I didn't have the energy to play more. It was horrible." Still, he is plagued with something called Restless Leg Disorder, which causes long periods of involuntary muscle contractions, as well as the persistent chronic insomnia that made him one of the first people to receive a prescription for Quaaludes when they were introduced in the '60's. Fahey had just begun to take his Quaaludes when the Italian director, Michaelangelo Antonioni, flew him over to Rome to record music for the soundtrack of Zabriskie Point.
Antonioni's conceptual sequel to Blow-Up is an Italian leftist's goofball cinematic view of late '60s American counterculture. It features a long sequence with nude couples making love in the desert, for which Antonioni wanted Fahey to do the music. When Fahey arrived in Rome, Antonioni showed him the segment in a screening room. "Antonioni says, 'What I want you to do is to compose some music that will go along with the porno scene.' I kept saying, 'Yes, sir.' Then he starts this, 'Now, John. This is young love. Young love.' I mean, that's young love? All these bodies? 'Young love. But John, it's in the desert, where's there's death. But it's young love.' He kept going, 'Young Love/Death' faster and faster. I was sure I was talking to a madman. I'm still sure I was.
"So I experimented. I had instrumentalists come in and told them just to play whatever they felt like. They had to pretend to understand what I was talking about, especially if Antonioni came in the room. That was fun. They were very cooperative. I came up with some sections of music that sounded more like death than young love. It was actually pretty ominous. I played it for Michaelangelo and he thought it was great. So he took me out to dinner at this really fancy restaurant and started telling me how horrible the United States was. We were drinking a lot of wine and I don't remember which one of us started cussing. It started real fast and ended in a fistfight. You have no idea how much that guy hates the United States...
« Older Were you psychologically damaged at a petting zoo?... | In Violation of Federal Law, O... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt