Easy Rider

“I wanna make a movie about mumbling, long-haired hippie drug dealers and their motorcycles, without much plot, add an unhappy ending, and set it all to this new form of music the kids are calling rock ‘n’ roll. Can you dig it?” No? At least that’s what Hollywood studio bosses first told Dennis Hopper when he pitched the movie. Though he, Peter Fonda, and Jack Nicholson had the last laugh with Easy Rider. That generation-defining movie, paired this week with the also outlaw-celebrating Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (at 8:30 p.m.), begins NWFF’s yearlong "69" retrospective. Screened in blocks throughout 2009 will be 60-plus titles culled from the year when Richard Nixon was president, the Vietnam War was raging, gas was cheap, cars were big, Raquel Welch was a sex symbol, and the X rating merely meant adult, not porno. With the next 12 months of programming still TBD, not every title will be a bona fide classic—and, indeed, that would be less fun than also including some of 1969’s cinematic oddities. (Did you know that The Love Bug was second on the annual box-office chart to Butch Cassidy?) After all, 1969 was only a revolutionary year to some, and not to others. The whole series should be test to trivia buffs and a boon to IMDb.com users. For instance, who grabbed the Oscar for best actor over Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy (coming Feb. 27)? Hint: He wore an eyepatch… BRIAN MILLER

Jan. 9-15, 6:45 p.m., 2009

 
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