Groovy movie hippies
With Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock" opening Friday, MSN Movies Glenn Whipp looks at movie hippies. They really are a lot more fun in the movies. I know this. I went to college at the University of Oregon where, aside from the ultra cool Ken Kesey, hippies were what we liked to call Trusta-farians (oh the 1990's...wait. What the hell do I know about real hippes aside from my parents friends?).
Anyway, If only we had a few more Dude Lebowski's and less Deadheads. Well, we had a few Dudes. And God bless them.
With that, here's the story. It's a groovy list.
"Jimi Hendrix famously wanted to know if you have ever been experienced. If the answer was no, plenty of suitors could have taken you back to the garden where the counterculture crested 40 years ago this month.
"Arriving amid the commemorative books, peace-sign T-shirts and anniversary DVDs is 'Taking Woodstock,' director Ang Lee's meticulous recreation of the events surrounding the greatest happening in the history of popular music. The movie has more than its share of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll as well as hordes of long-haired freaky people, tie-dyed types searching for a little self-realization.
"Hippie sightings in movies are few and far between these days. But righteous, right-thinking peaceniks are far from extinct in film, whether in practice or in spirit. Here are our 10 favorites from the past 40 years."
Here's number one from the cine-hippies, and all I can say is (fist in the air) right on:
"Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, 'Easy Rider' (1969)
"Peace and love. Hatred and fear. Hopper and Fonda's hippie bikers experience both sides of the coin of freedom on their road trip through America, a land that, according to Jack Nicholson's ACLU lawyer, "used to be a hell of a ... more good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it."
"If Nicholson plays the square, you know Hopper and Fonda must be pretty far out. And they are, riding choppers, dealing drugs, getting wasted and enjoying the fruits of free love.
"But, in the midst of all the incense and peppermints, there is an almost singular self-awareness. 'You know Billy, we blew it,' Fonda tells Hopper near the end of the film. These guys knew the '60s were over before most everyone else, before the crash-and-burn at Altamont, where the optimism of Woodstock suddenly turned into a terrifying nightmare of chaos and the devil got his due."