Thursday, May 24, 2012

"On The Road"---Jack Kerouac's Classic Novel Now a Film!

Jack Kerouac-circa 1957

Jack Kerouac's iconic, classic 1957 biographic novel, "ON THE ROAD", is now a movie---finally! 55 years later.

Before the "Hippies", "yuppies", "yippees", "preppies", the 'love' generation and LSD, the nation had "The Beat" generation. And Jack Kerouac owned it. 

Known simply as KEROUAC, this common man stirred and brought to life all thinking people and served as the forerunner and harbinger of things to come--social change that was later to be. KEROUAC captured the seething inner fires of his generation. He lived it and wrote about it. 

Kerouac and Cassady
"ON THE ROAD" tells the story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty who traveled the country in an old Hudson car. These principals were in search of 'something'. Were they looking for the American dream? Or experiencing the end of it?

What they find in their exploits is a social and political awareness and awakening. 

"ON THE ROAD" is framed in the actual experiences of Kerouac and his close friend Neal Cassady who became fictionalized as Paradise and Moriarty. What is described in the book actually happened. 

Now, Kerouac's inspirational story has been committed to film in a movie by the same title. It debuted at Cannes this past week and will be in American theaters this Fall.

From Left to right: Garrett Hedlund, Walter Salles, Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortenson
"ON THE ROAD" is directed by Walter Sallas and stars Garret Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley, Kristen Dunst and Viggo Mortenson. 

Can the film version of "ON THE ROAD" measure up to KEROUAC'S masterpiece? Probably not. Will Kerouac's universal themes of the human condition---it's resilience and spirit along with it's foibles resonate with today's audiences? We'll find out soon.

However this film may play to it's audiences, it is based in reality and basic truth which is constant in the growth of humanity striving to perfect itself.

Although KEROUAC'S masterful writing is 'an only in  America' set of stories, his basic themes cut through and across generations and cultural barriers to become both entertainment and food for thought to a worldwide audience.


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