Easy Rider


Easy Rider is cool: and as it’s from the decade that invented cool, the 60s, it’s everything you expect - messy, drug-riddled, hairy and hippy. There’s no slickness or shine here: just folks kicking back.

Easy Rider presents the world as suits it best: there’s no suburban American, just little towns and vast expanses of beautiful and wild desert. The visuals are perfectly offset by classic American music - country and rock ’n’ roll - and even the editor seems to be high at times, with wild cuts and babbled scenes.

There is a back story to Easy Rider, and it has some good themes: freedom being one. For liberals such as myself, it’s a particularly chilling illustration of how conservative America isn’t as free as it thinks it is: Jack Nicholson hits the nail on the head in his central speech of the film:

**Billy ([Denis Hopper](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Hopper))**: What the hell's wrong with freedom, man? That's what it's all about. **George ([Jack Nicholson](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Nicholson))**: Oh yeah, that's right, that's what it's all about, all right. But talkin' about it and bein' it - that's two different things. I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. 'Course, don't ever tell anybody that they're not free 'cause then they're gonna get real busy killin' and maimin' to prove to you that they are. Oh yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em.

Ultimately, though, watching Easy Rider as social commentary is probably going to result in disappointment: there are more intelligent alternatives. The best way to enjoy this film is just to chill out and let it flow (and I wouldn’t care to suggest you how do that). Peace, man.