Sunday, August 11, 2019

The films we have screened in the second part of the course display Essay

The films we have screened in the second part of the course display some reactions to the challenges (social, political, cultura - Essay Example In this way, each of the main characters in each of these films represented the way that change is inexorable, even if society doesn't really want it, because these figures do not fight for change. They are witnesses to the changes, on the sidelines, yet, at the same time, are driving the revolutions that they are a part of. This is true of all three films – they are not necessarily portraits of people who are railing against the establishment so much as they are portraits of people who, ironically, don't really care about the establishment. This is what makes their characters so ironic and poignant at the same time. For instance, Wyatt and Billy are the ultimate nihilistic characters. One could see that, within their heads, there was never a thought that they would bring about the cataclysmic changes that men like them brought about in the 1960s. After all, the hippies were the ones who helped to end the Vietnam War, who helped usher in a period of civil rights, who preached the gospel of peace and love and freedom. They were the counterculture who helped change the dominant culture, yet there was no sense that these two men even realized how important they were in the big scheme of things. They literally were drifters – they rode their bikes, smoked a lot of weed, picked up a hitchhiker and stayed on the commune for a few days. Then they â€Å"crashed† a parade by riding in it as a joke – this got them put into jail, where they met a drunken ACLU lawyer, picked him up and brought him along on their adventure. That lawyer was killed in their camp, and they continued on their way, virtually as if nothing happened, and had a great meal and a visit to a prostitute by using the money found in George, the dead lawyer's, wallet. They give LSD to the two prostitutes, have an interesting trip in the graveyard by the Mardi Gras parade, continue on their way, and both of them soon end up dead. The nihilism of these two is shown in just about everything that happens to the two. Everything's all good, really, even though Billy does try to protest about certain things – the first hippy they pick up pumps gas for them, and there is money in that tank, which makes him paranoid, but Wyatt assures him its all good. They go to the commune and get in with that lifestyle for a little while, admiring the fact that they are living off the land. But what shows the ultimate in their nihilism is how they treated George – the man was beat to death in their camp, and, while they did seem sad about it, they weren't so broken up about it that they used George's money to treat themselves to wine, women and song. The film doesn't even show what they do with the body – presumably they left the body there in the woods, with the sleeping bag covering it. What the film is also trying to show is the struggle that the counterculture had against the dominant culture, assuming that the dominant culture is represented by the pol icemen who arrested them for â€Å"parading without a license,† the men who beat them up in their camp, or the hillbillies who killed them in the end. Which makes their nihilism all the more ironic, because they weren't struggling against the dominant culture at all, so much as they were in their own little bubble of a world. This was

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