THE SHINING | KUBRICK’S MASTERPIECE OF SUSPENSE, SYMBOLISM, SETS & STEADICAM

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The Shining – the layers in this Stanley Kubrick classic are a visual feast for the eyes, full of blatant and sometimes subtle iconography. The sets, scenery, and graphic elements really lock you in. And the multitude of modern mythology & conspiracy theories that have been created by Kubrick fans, history nuts, and film buffs alike are enough to make a movie about that alone– oh wait, it’s called Room 237! (An interesting watch for fans of the film and those wanting to know more about Kubrick– but a lot of it smacks of beautiful coincidences, and some theories seem just too far out to me.)

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JACK NICHOLSON IN REBEL ROUSERS | SPRINGERS & STRIPES

 

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Jack Nicholson on a ’45 Flathead Harley Bobber (with Springer forks) in “Rebel Rousers”

This could very well be one of the coolest shots ever, from one of the absolute worst biker flicks ever made– Rebel Rousers. Shot in 1967, it actually had a pretty decent cast– Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd (Dern’s wife), and Harry Dean Stanton. The film was shelved and then dusted-off in ’69, when Nicholson’s star power was boosted by the release of Easyrider, and all of a sudden Rebel Rousers seemed like a sure thing hit release. Trust me, just watch the trailer after the jump, and that’ll be all you’ll ever need to see of this flick. Jack Nicholson’s get-up and Harley are the only memorable bits– Nicholson looks like a 60’s psychedelic tribute to Lee Marvin’s iconic, misfit biker character Chino from The Wild One. Gotta love the stripes. They both also rode Harley Bobbers on screen– Nicholson on a ’45 HD Flathead for Rebel Rousers, and Lee Marvin tore it up on a ’49 or ’50 Flathead in The Wild One.

JACK NICHOLSON REBEL ROUSERS

 

Bruce Dern and his custom BSA pre-unit twin from Rebel Rouser’s

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JACK NICHOLSON | EASY RIDER, 1969

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Jack Nicholson Easyrider

Jack Nicholson

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To mention the 1969 film Easy Rider is beyond cliche anymore– but I remember growing up with a lot of Easy Rider references around the house as a kid. The old man fancied himself as “Hopper”, a nickname given to him by his biker buddies for his resemblance to Dennis Hopper’s Billy in the pivotal biker flick. He milked that one for all it was worth. I also remember a certain amount of disdain from the biker crowd towards Peter Fonda starring as Captain America. Sure, they loved the iconic chopper (the real star of the film)– but Peter Fonda was considered by real bikers to be a Hollywood punk that grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth (read: pussy) who had no business on a Harley.

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