Tag: Dennis Hopper

July 2, 2009 / / Main Slate

By Peggy Nelson

Easy Rider – 1969 – dir. Dennis Hopper

Easy Rider (dir. Dennis Hopper, 1969), like it’s lesser-known sibling, Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), poses the question, where are you going when all the roads are mapped?  In their constant motion, Wyatt/Captain America (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) are seeking unmapped territory, but the only unmapped territory is within.  By refusing to settle in one place, by being nomads, they are refusing the predetermined categories of social role and occupation.

Freedom has been synonymous with freedom of the open road since before this country was founded: freedom to wander around in space, to break free of the boundaries of town, city, job, habits, and self, and simply go, to wander in space and see what and who you might find.  The hippies in Easy Rider are icons now, and were icons then.  But they’re on a journey much older than hippies – the Beats, too, had their road, the hobos theirs, the frontiersmen and pioneers their roads, stolen from and grafted on top of the Native Americans’ trajectories in space.

June 19, 2006 / / Film Notes

Written by Andy Dimond

US, 1986. Rated R. 120 min. Cast: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Hope Lange, Dean Stockwell; Music: Angelo Badalamenti, Chris Isaak, Roy Orbison; Cinematographer: Frederick Elmes; Produced by: Fred Caruso, Richard Roth; Written and directed by David Lynch.

One word appears with remarkable consistency alongside the name David Lynch. “Weird.” Granted, his subject matter and narrative style do often fall willfully outside the Hollywood norm, but that should not be allowed to overshadow his natural brilliance as a Hollywood craftsman. His first feature, Eraserhead – which does still strike me as an overdone slice of student-film surrealism – nevertheless rode to glory on Lynch’s uncanny instinct for the feel and flow of film imagery.