I guess I’m looking forward to “On The Road” opening in the US

“On The Road”, Jack Kerouac‘s 50s novel brought to the screen by Walter Salles (director of “The Motorcycle Diaries“), opened at Cannes to moderate response. The NY Times felt it was a “muted take on Jack Kerouac’s ecstatic American story” and the audience apparently gave it a polite applause.

From left, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund in “On the Road.”

The film appears more than five decades after the novel’s publication caused a literary sensation and launched a thousand road trips, not to mention innumerable road movies. Earlier directors had attempted to create a film from the work, including Francis Ford Coppola (listed as Executive Producer on the credits… and I believe the one with control of the film rights.)

Salles interviewed poets Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima and Amiri Baraka, who were Kerouac contemporaries. He also interviewed the Kerouac biographers Gerald Nicosia and Barry Gifford, who served as consultants on the film.

Salles spent eight years on the project, five on research alone… including taking the Kerouac/Neil Cassady road trip (the film uses Kerouac’s character names Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty). Characters based on Alan Ginsberg and William S.Boroughs also show up.

I think this is one of those films where I’ll ignore reviews and see for myself.


About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at www.897wshc.org) and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on May 24, 2012, in Announcement, Art, Arts, Books, Cinema, creativity, event, film, history, News, Opinion, quote, Word from Bill and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I agree, one has to see this film and judge for oneself. The critics are paid (or not) to, well, criticize. They tend to like formula, tricks, or whatever. An unconventional novel like OTR usually does not appeal to the masses or critics. BTW, as some posted, Stewart’s performance is being praised positively, even from those that disliked the film overall. We must remember that these are humans making a human story. A page-by-page literal translation of the novel would be a ten or twelve-hour film, at least. If it is disjointed and narcissistic, so was the original novel. I am re-reading this, the scroll version, to prepare for the US release, which oddly is well beyond the foreign release.

  2. In theory I like the idea of this being made into a film. In reality, as soon as I see Kristen Stewart I get very, very nervous. Not one of my favorite onscreen presences. She may surprise me, but I’m not exactly holding my breath. With so much work having been put into this film though, I should at least give it the benefit of the doubt.

  3. I can’t wait! I was just thiking yesterday that that is one of the many books that I really need to read that I haven’t gotten to yet. I intend to read it and then go see it! Who knows, I frequently disagree with the critics anyway and the fact that the person who directed the motorcycle diaries is involved in this makes me think it will be a feast for the eyes if nothing else!

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