Peter Fonda

Easy Rider Perfect Summer Movie

Every week this summer we’ll be exploring movies that are perfect for the season. Cinematic stories for watching in a cool, dark room while it’s sunny outside. If there’s an ultimate lesson in Easy Rider, it’s to do your own thing in your own time. The movie tosses out that koanistic nugget right up front when Captain America and Billy (Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper) praise a farmer for taking control of his own destiny by living off the land. He does as he likes with a massive blue sky overhead, and they dig that. For our heroes, applying that lesson means smuggling drugs in their motorcycle gas tank in order to achieve the financial solvency necessary to live more comfortably, although it’s unclear how much more comfortable they can get. They ride, you know, easy. Gasoline costs money, but otherwise the farmland-hopping duo seems set as they roll on through God’s Country toward New Orleans. Summer is freedom, and this film’s got freedom in spades.

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William H. Macy

What is Casting Couch? It’s a voice of truth and honesty in a sea of April Fools’ pranks and lies. Only real casting news here, including what’s next for screen legend Peter Fonda. Our first two bits of news are about actors becoming directors and then giving jobs to other actors. It’s the circle of life, and it moves us all. First up is some news regarding William H. Macy’s directorial debut, a drama with music at its core called Rudderless. THR is reporting that this story about a father who stumbles across some of his dead son’s musical compositions and decides to start a band has just hired the high-powered quartet of Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Selena Gomez, and Laurence Fishburne. They’ll be joining the already-cast Felicity Huffman, as well as Macy himself, as he plans on pulling acting and directing double duty. Do you think that means we could get to hear him sing too?

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Criterion Files

As a relatively young person, far too young to speak meaningfully about an important era of American culture, it’s difficult for me to ascribe any sense of value even unto my own words about a picture that encapsulates and represents an alternate ideology of real American freedom than what we consider as being truly “free.” When we think of freedom we think of rights and when we think of American we think of the dream. We have the right to be happy and we have the freedoms to pursue it.

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World events and current affairs invariably inspire cultural commentary, in terms of both entertainment and factual responses, and it is no exaggeration to speculate that if an event, or an idea is worthy of note for documentary filmmakers and straight literary commentators, it will inevitably already have been considered by someone in Hollywood as a potential money-spinner. Just look at how quickly the Kill Bin Laden project was confirmed after the death of arguably the most wanted man in Western history. Recent years have seen the blurring of the distinction between serious exposes and their Hollywood counterparts, as filmmakers like Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock have used more commercial arenas to promote their messages, and we can now talk about documentaries in terms of their box office appeal and potential bankability. Add to that the fact that revolution is hot right now, with notable uprisings taking up slots in the news almost every day, and you could suggest that this is the perfect time to be making and releasing anything that successfully blends a compelling story with a spirit of dissent. Into this context, filmmaking spouses and activists Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell have made The Big Fix (sometimes known as Spill), a documentary charting the continued after-effects and alleged cover-up of the Deepwater Horizons oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which screened this afternoon as a Special Screening in Cannes.

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Washed-up stock car driver Larry (Peter Fonda) and his equally washed-up mechanic Deke (Adam Roarke) slickly execute a grocery store heist. Their efforts to make a clean getaway are complicated when Mary (Susan George), Larry’s one-night-stand from the night before, decides to tag along.

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