Two young “hippie” bikers, Wyatt and Billy sell some dope in Southern California, stash their money away in their gas-tank and set off for a trip across America, on their own personal odyssey looking for a way to lead their lives. On the journey they encounter bigotry and hatred from small-town communities who despise and fear their non-conformism. However Wyatt and Billy also discover people attempting ‘alternative lifestyles’ who are resisting this narrow-mindedness, there is always a question mark over the future survival of these drop-out groups. The gentle hippie community who thank God for ‘a place to stand’ are living their own unreal dream. The rancher they encounter and his Mexican wife are hard-pushed to make ends meet. Even LSD turns sour when the trip is a bad one. Death comes to seem the only freedom. When they arrive at a diner in a small town, they are insulted by the local rednecks as weirdo degenerates. They are arrested on some minor pretext by the local sheriff and thrown in jail where they meet George Hanson, a liberal alcoholic lawyer. He gets them out and decides to join them on their trip to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras. —IMDB
The odyssey of Dennis Hopper has been one of Hollywood’s longest, strangest trips. A onetime teen performer, he went through a series of career metamorphoses — studio pariah, rebel filmmaker, drug casualty, and comeback kid — before finally settling comfortably into the role of character actor par excellence, with a rogues’ gallery of killers and freaks unmatched in psychotic intensity and demented glee. Along the way, Hopper defined a generation, documenting the shining hopes and bitter disappointments of the hippie counterculture and bringing their message to movie screens everywhere. By extension, he spearheaded a revolt in the motion picture industry, forcing the studio establishment to acknowledge a youth market they’d long done their best to deny.
Born May 17, 1936 in Dodge City, Kansas, Hopper began acting during his teen years, and made his professional debut on the TV series Medic. In 1955 he made a legendary collaboration with the director Nicholas Ray in the… read more
The dead-end of the 1960s and the Hippie Dream, full of irritating flicker cuts, fast zooms, a rubbish LSD sequence, and pathetic and half-hearted martyrdom. Nicholson's dissolute and removed observer almost salvages the film, as does the wonderful music; but the abiding feeling is of the film's grasping at something it doesn't understand, to the extent that "Zabriskie Point" seems like a masterpiece by comparison.
The best part about this film is Jack Nicholson. Other than that it's droll and infinitely overrated and boring.
In this week’s column dedicated to short-form criticism, three writers tackle a counter-culture classic.
Clips and appreciations marking Jack Nicholson’s 75th birthday.
With his partner Bob Rafelson, Schneider played a major role in launching the “New Hollywood” in the 70s.
Easy Rider is one of those films whose importance goes far beyond its status as a work of art. The story is slight but really convincing, poetic, and yet shocking until the last act… read review