On our latest episode, Over/Under Movies takes a look at two films that, while directly connected, take wildly different paths to tell stories about road tripping across America and finding yourself in the process. My co-host Oktay Ege Kozak made the picks here, and he decided on “Easy Rider” for the overrated and “Lost In America” for the under.
Dennis Hopper‘s seminal 1969 film, about two bike riding hippies (Hopper and Peter Fonda) who pull off a drug deal and decide to cruise across the country to find spiritual truth, is understandably iconic. Its shocking, massive success at the box office pretty much altered Hollywood forever, leading to the ’70s era of filmmaker-driven studio films that also reached for artistic heights. But is it really a film that’s enjoyable to watch today, or more an important footnote in cinema history?
Without “Easy Rider” there’d certainly be no “Lost In America,” Albert Brooks‘ 1985 comedy about a yuppie couple who, after throwing away their safe and sound careers, decide to hit the road in a giant RV to find themselves. ‘Rider’ is constantly referenced throughout the film, with the characters often hilariously misremembering its dark undercurrents and bleak ending. Brooks was in his directorial prime when he made “Lost In America” (you can find most of his work on Netflix at the moment), and the satire still holds up and stings as it should.
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