Sunday, August 22, 2010

59. Easy Rider (1969)


They'll talk to ya and talk to ya and talk to ya about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em.

Most people my age grew up with music videos. They really took off with the birth of MTV and have suffered a downturn since TRL killed them around the turn of the millenium (kinda ironic don't ya think?). Before music videos, live performances (or videos of live performances) were really the only visual accompaniment to popular music. I would argue, though, that "Easy Rider" was the true birth of the music video. As I spoke about a few days ago, "The Graduate" was one of the first times that pop music was used to accompany a movie, but in "Easy Rider" it almost seems that the movie is used to accompany the awesome music.

Unlike any film before it (and most films after it), this movie is a wondering opus of freedom, angst, and the American dream. Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper (who also directed) play perfect lovable outlaws as they make their motorcycle journey from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Along the way they meet many interesting people, most notably George Hanson (played by Jack Nicholson) who tags along for the last stretch of their journey.

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