Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Drugs in Film

Easy Rider is an American classic about the 60s counterculture movement. The film has many memorable scenes about the use of the drugs. Drug use became prevalent in the 60s, and Easy Rider brought it to the big screen. It not the first film to show drug use, but it is certainly one of the most famous.

My favorite scene from the movie was the one where Billy, Wyatt, and George are sitting around the campfire smoking marijuana. They are obviously high because they can’t stop laughing, and enter a discussion about UFOs. There are tons of other movies and television shows with of people passing around marijuana and talking about random things that don’t make a whole lot of since. A good example of this is That 70s Show. In every episode there is a scene where the camera pans around the table to each person as they laugh and make random comments in a smoky room. Another classic film about marijuana use is Reefer Madness. It is an interesting film because it portrays marijuana use under the pretense stated in the forward that it is a menace to society.

My least favorite scene in the whole movie is the acid trip in the cemetery. Rick mentioned that no one is capable of capturing a good acid trip on film much like it is practically impossible to capture the perfect dream sequence on film. I think that dreams and acid trips should be left out of films because they can never relate to everyone. They deal with perceptions of the conscious and/or subconscious, and no two people are alike when it comes to things are perceived and processed. Many people have tried to capture an acid trip from the third person perspective, for example Syd Barrett’s documented acid trip. This documentary form is always boring because everything is occurring within the mind and not much can be seen from an external perspective. Another failure of a trip on film is animated hallucinations, the best example being Alice in Wonderland. The chesire cat, the Queen of Hearts, and army of cards are just a few examples of the ridiculous characters that show up in this fairy tale based off of hallucinations.


  1. I like your comparison of Easy Rider to That 70s Show. That was something I considered when I was writing my blog, as well. Why is it that these drugged-out conversations are such a big part of the show? Is it representative of the waning counterculture's place in suburbia?

  2. I never thought That 70s Show was that great as a sitcom, but it totally does capture the feeling of wanting to be part of this cool stuff that is going on in the outside world while you are trapped in your parent's basement.

    Also, I agree that it would be very hard to make a drug trip scene in any movie, but why do so many try to do it then?

  3. What would my life be without great works of art like Easy rider. The best I have ever had, very concise and straight to the point. I picked a good book about the advantages of the Viagra Online.