Easy Rider/Straw Dogs
In this week’s reading there was much discussion and debate on the pathos of failure in relation to Easy Rider and Straw Dogs, and how they represent a transition within Hollywood, in which the cinematic experience is altered to cater to a pleasure-seeking audience. In this way, Hollywood had become an audience-orientated cinema rather than an auteur pleasure. In both films we are asked to question the traditional concept of American freedom and what this manifestation entails- getting out, freedom and the hedonistic desire for the pursuit of freedom. The death of George, for example, symbolizes the importance of this culture of freedom as he always spoke of it, and his demise leads the other characters to disorientation.
Both Easy Rider and Straw Dogs are cauldrons of masculinity and violence, and one can go as far as to argue that they romanticize violence. There is a certain undertone of a trapped, animalistic violence that engulfs morals, goals and identity. There exists a contrast of violence between cultures and classes; we can see this in the way David for example appeals to the American justice system because of its self-serving qualities. In this specific example the culture and class system exposes violence much more blatantly. In this way, freedom and violence are inexplicably linked counterparts, where one is only able to exist with the other.