"A man went looking for America.... And couldn't find it anywhere!" proclaimed the original Easy Rider poster. Four decades later filmmakers Simon Witter and Hannes Rossacher set out to see...
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"A man went looking for America.... And couldn't find it anywhere!" proclaimed the original Easy Rider poster. Four decades later filmmakers Simon Witter and Hannes Rossacher set out to see if they could find America, retracing the film's original route across the country with Easy Rider super fans Jim Leonard and Mike Kittrell, on a quest to find out how the many issues that resonated through the film had developed, for better or worse, in the interim. Along the way they met musicians, journalists, academics, seasteading idealists, drug policy experts and healers, and heard from the film's makers and extras about the dramatic genesis of the cult film that blew like a wind of change through the stilted kitsch of mainstream cinema in 1969, re-writing the rulebook on genre, drugs, music, cinematography and even the use of non-actors, holding a mirror up to the values of a changing America, dividing audiences and making so much money that it ushered in a new era of independent filmmaking...Written by
We didn't have any cocaine when we made Easy Rider. It wasn't popular, it wasn't around and that was the reason I chose it. Cocaine I'd had once with a guy from the Count Basie Band. It was called the drug of kings and I thought man, and I'd heard that Freud had used it and I thought wow, that would be cool. And it's real expensive, it's the drug of kings - so lets make it coke. After Easy Rider, suddenly cocaine was going around, being passed around on silver platters at parties - it wasn't ...
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Just saw the first part of the 4x 50 min. long documentary and was very pleased with it! I'm into EASY RIDER for 35 years now (I was just a baby when the film was made) and therefore had some high expectations. Shaking' THE CAGE was quite good but I might prefer ON THE TRAIL.. because it gives the right feeling to the subject. Well written & directed, very good photography & music (!) it also benefits a great deal from the presence of Jim Leonard (& Mike Kitrell). Jim has this huge archive on EASY RIDER and together they travel the route & locations with their 1:1 EASY bikes. Fantastic! Regarding 'making of' facts, there's not much new (most of it was covered in interviews, Peter's excellent DON'T TELL DAD and other coverage over the years) but it's well presented and finally Ben Hardy & Cliff Vaughns are acknowledged (Black Power built the EASY bikes). I'll be back with more when the next part will be screened in a week or so :)) Those who are really EASY RIDER fans might enjoy my special on it in Cinema Retro magazine (although that issue is hard to find now). There I tried to 'restore' the longer EASY RIDER version that never made it (due to length) to the big screen.
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