Easy Rider: a Pursuit of American Identity

Topics: Cannes Film Festival, Hippie, Counterculture Pages: 4 (1359 words) Published: July 5, 2005
Easy Rider: An Epic journey into the unknown
For the American dream

Easy Rider is the late 1960s "road film" tale of a search for freedom (or the illusion of freedom) and an identity in America, in the midst of paranoia, bigotry and violence. The story, of filmmakers' Fonda/Hopper creation, centers around the self-styled, counter-cultured, neo-frontiersmen of the painfully fashionable late 60s. As for the meaning of Easy rider, Peter Fonda (Wyatt) said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, ¡§it is a southern term for a whore¡¦s old man, not a pimp, but a dude who lives with a chick. Because he¡¦s got the easy ride. Well, that¡¦s what¡¦s happened to America, man. Liberty¡¦s become a whore, and we¡¦re all taking an easy ride¡¨ . However, their journey is far from an easy ride; it is a unsettling, frightening and revealing experience rounded up in self-destruction. Introduction to Easy Rider (1969)

Easy Rider is a counter-cultural, experimental, independent film for the alternative youth/cult market, with sex, drugs, casual violence, reflecting the collapse of the idealistic 60s. The film does not have a clear plot, and its artistic merit is also doubtful, as a film critic Peter Biskind said, ¡§It had little background or historical development of characters, a lack of typical heroes, uneven pacing, jump cuts and flash-forward transitions between scenes, an improvisational style and mood of acting and dialogue, background rock 'n' roll music to complement the narrative, and the equation of motorbikes with freedom on the road rather than with delinquent behaviors.¡¨ However, it presents an image of the popular and historical culture of the time and a story of a contemporary but destructive journey by two self-righteous, drug-fueled, anti-hero bikers eastward through the American Southwest. Their trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans takes them through limitless, untouched landscapes including Monument Valley, various towns, a hippie commune, and a...
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