Easy Rider is not just a significant American movie. It is also an exceptional example of independent filmmaking, one where, with the unwavering ambition of youth and a desire for something different, a film rises above and beyond the studio-beholden establishment to achieve a triumph all its own.
Jurassic Park, like many of Spielberg’s best films, allows us to be children again, even if this is, ironically, a film most kids would be scared to death by. It’s a movie that indulges in horror-movie tropes while making them feel fresh, layering a patina of intelligence over the intense, earth-rattling action. Though the human-dinosaur face-offs are the stuff of movie legend, the early sections where Drs. Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, and Ellie Sattler debate the ethics of a theme park full of the living, breathing extinct are strangely fascinating and entertaining, at least to 28-year old me.
In 1986 it was a strange world and it was about to get weirder, as the irradiated detritus from the Chernobyl disaster infected Northern Europe a similarly radioactive event was contaminating cinema screens worldwide, as we alight upon the first masterpiece of Lynch’s career – I just thought I’d be up front about that. After the painful critical evisceration of Dune a wounded Lynch retreated to his lair and decided he needed to go back to his roots and make a smaller, more personal and manageable film, without the distractions that an interfering studio, costly SFX and adjacent marketing concerns which had partially diluted his creative essence and drive.