“Easy Rider” independent road drama featured in Heald Auditorium

LUDLOW, Vt. – FOLA will feature the film, “Easy Rider,” Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Heald Auditorium of Ludlow Town Hall.

“Easy Rider” is a 1969 American independent road drama film written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern, produced by Fonda, and directed by Hopper. Fonda and Hopper play two bikers who travel through the American southwest and south, carrying the proceeds from a cocaine deal. The success of “Easy Rider” helped spark the New Hollywood era of filmmaking during the early 1970s.

Easy Rider
FOLA will feature “Easy Rider” at the Heald Auditorium, Feb. 8. Photo provided

A landmark counterculture film, and a “touchstone for a generation” that “captured the national imagination,” “Easy Rider” explores the societal landscape, issues, and tensions in the United States during the 1960s, such as the rise of the hippie movement, drug use, and communal lifestyle. Real drugs were used in scenes showing the use of marijuana and other substances.

Fonda and Hopper complete a narcotics delivery that brings them the money they need to hit the road toward New Orleans and Mardi Gras. Casting off their watches at the starting line, proceeding without deadlines or required routing, they encounter a variety of individuals who have, for one reason or another, chosen some alternative to a conventional and competitive mainstream existence. Each is “doing his own thing in his own time,” neither good nor bad, not hurting nor threatening anyone.

“Easy Rider” was released by Columbia Pictures July 14, 1969, grossing $60 million worldwide from a filming budget of no more than $400,000. Critics have praised the performances, directing, writing, soundtrack, visuals, and atmosphere. The film was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1998. Roger Ebert added “Easy Rider” to his Great Movies list in 2004.

As with all FOLA movies, the event is free and open to everyone; donations are appreciated to offset the cost of the movie. Popcorn is provided by Berkshire Bank with water supplied by the United Church of Ludlow. For more information, call 802-228-3238.

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