Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Capsule Review: Easy Rider (1969)

It's hard to comprehend just how revolutionary Easy Rider was for both popular culture and the film industry as a whole upon its release in 1969. Following a hoard of biker films - as well as other films celebrating the counter-culture of the time - none struck the chord quite as strongly, or captured the zeitgeist of the time quite as well. Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper - both veterans of low-budget productions - took their accumulated film knowledge and - along with a script from Terry Southern - created a new type of independent film, one that brought audiences to the cinema in droves and would significantly influence the works to come out of Hollywood throughout the 1970s. Its frank depiction of drugs, communal lifestyles, the search for freedom, and the use of popular rock music on the soundtrack would define the era, and the film would launch it's two stars - as well as co-star Jack Nicholson - into leading roles. Obviously dated, the nihilistic ending still packs a hell of a punch.

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