When the bike-nic film Easy Rider first screened in 1969, it was met with heaps of praise from film critics, burgeoning rock ´n´ rollers, and motorcyclists alike. As the first great road-trip film, Rider represented a unique time in American history, before antiauthoritarianism became a slick advertisement and our naïveté was broken when youthful rebellion still meant something. The biking counter-culture had found its pair of poster boys for two-wheeled transcendentalism in Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda. Their trek across the American southwest became the model for bikers searching for their own freedom and adventure.
Almost 40 years after its release, the films importance remains intact for the folks who manage South Florida motorcyclist magazine Wheels on the Road. The biking rag has teamed up with Cinema Paradiso (503 NW Sixth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) to host the engine-revving Easy Rider block party this Saturday night. The whole 500 block of Sixth Ave. will be closed off at 7:30 p.m. in order to let cyclists ride in, park their bikes safely, and jam out to classic southern rock courtesy of the Street People. Then, at 9, Paradiso will invite the whole rowdy gang inside for a screening of Rider, preceded by the Paul Reubens short film School Girls and You. Admission to the shindig is $10, or $18 per couple, and includes one drink (beer, wine, or soda). Call 954-525-FILM, or visit www.fliff.com.