Event | Update : 22.05.19 . 8:47 PM

Easy Rider, an ode to freedom at the heart of American counterculture

Picture of the movie Easy Rider

Picture of the movie Easy Rider © 1969 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. App Rights Reserved

20th century cult road movie Easy Rider follows Jack Nicholson as an alcoholic lawyer who hooks up with two drug-dealing bikers, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, determined to live their American dream. From California to New Orleans, they travel the United States on a quest for freedom and the meaning of life, delving into the counterculture of the era. Presented in 1969 in Competition, Easy Rider won the Prize for a First Work. To mark its 50th anniversary, this momentous film is being screened at Cannes Classics and the Cinéma de la Plage. Here are three great reasons to rediscover this powerful and timeless work.

For its director, a key figure of American counterculture
In Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper offers an uncompromising take on the faux American dream and American postwar society, which he criticises in a journey of discovery embarked on by his protagonists. It's a running theme with the director, who followed up the film with The Last Movie and Out of the Blue, in which he once again depicts characters caught up in devastating capitalism and who illustrate an America of disenchantment and broken dreams. 


For its representation of the time, in the midst of the psychedelic era
As the bikers travel the roads of the United States, they come across a group of hippies, who have cut themselves off from society and chosen to cultivate their land. Gathered around campfires, under the influence of drugs, the protagonists exchange their perspectives on the notion of freedom in the modern world. With a soundtrack that revolves around 60s rock, Easy Rider is truly a cinematographic ode to "flower power" and American counterculture in the years 1960-1970. 


For its awe-inspiring shots of the United States
Whether urban, desert or rural roads... the essence of the bikers' trip through the arid lands of the United States is magnificently captured by Hungarian cinematographer László Kovács, who manages to portray a typical and flawless portrait of deep America, as we still imagine it today. 

Written by Eugénie Malinjod

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