In 1969 a man walked upon the moon, the Woodstock music festival was held in upstate New York, Richard Nixon was sworn in as the president of the United States, the Beatles made their last public appearance, as did, after a fashion, Judy Garland, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Boris Karloff, Joseph P. Kennedy, and Jack Kerouac, all of whom passed away that year. Something else passed away that year as well. In early July, just days before the moon landing, a low-budget exploitation movie, EasyRider, was released. It’s astonishing and wholly unexpected success almost single-handedly destroyed the Hollywood studio system which had been controlling the entertainment industry for half a century. Its success would ultimately change the way movies would be made, and who made them, as well as how those movies looked and sounded, and which audiences those movies would be made for. Additionally, the film’s innovative techniques; including extensive location shooting, unexplained editing juxtapositions, improvised dialogue, and innovative use of popular music, would change the vocabulary and language of cinema forever. Easy Rider: 50 Years of Looking for America will tell the story of Easy Rider on the fiftieth anniversary of its explosive release. Through published interviews, previously undiscovered archival materials, and new reflections by the participants, the whole story of Hollywood’s first true counterculture movie will be revealed for the first time ever.
Steve Bingen has been acclaimed by Cinema Retro magazine as "one of the foremost Hollywood historians," having long worked within the motion picture industry, both in production as a writer and archivist. He is a co-author of MGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot, and author of Warner Bros.: Hollywood's Ultimate Backlot, Paramount: City of Dreams, and Hollywood's Lost Backlot: 40 Acres of Glamour and Mystery. He lives in Los Angeles, California.