Vanishing Point

  • Tuesday July 11, 2017 7:00 PM

Vanishing Point, Richard Sarafian, 1971, 1 hr. 39 mins.

To me, the “vanishing point” means just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Richard Sarafian

Vanishing Point is an existential American road film written by the Cuban novelist and screenwriter Guillermo Cabrera Infante and directed by Richard Sarafian. Cabrera Infante is said to have been inspired by reading Jack Kerouac’s classic, On the Road. The film is notable for its scenic locations across the American Southwest as well as its social commentary on a post-Woodstock climate in the United States. Described as a drug-fueled car chase through the Nevada desert, Sarafian relayed in an interview with Turner Classic Movies that “the beauty of Vanishing Point was that I met the challenge to physicalize speed.”

As director of this and other notable films, Sarafian is considered a cult figure who influenced the likes of Quentin Tarantino, with Tarantino paying tribute to this film in Death Proof by incorporating the “Vanishing Point car” sequence. 


Tuesday Evenings at the Modern: Films is a summer extension of the lecture series. This film-based weekly program runs through the summer months and strives to continue the consideration of ideas and issues pertaining to the art and architecture of the Modern, as well as to contemporary art in general.  

The screenings this summer focus on the genre of road films, as recommended by the artist Doug Aitken. Each selection addresses notions of the nomadic, time and space through movement, the horizon line, and/or the landscape and culture of the West in conjunction with the Modern’s summer exhibition Doug Aitken: Electric Earth. Visit for more information.

To create a full experience, these presentations include a brief introduction and opportunity for discussion following the films. Seating is available in the Modern's auditorium at 6:30 pm, and the program begins at 7 pm. The museum's galleries are open until 7 pm on Tuesdays during Tuesday Evenings at the Modern: Films. This program is free and open to the public. Up to two free tickets can be obtained at the information desk beginning at 5 pm the day of the screening.