On the Road

A Premier Excerpt of Walter Salles’s Cinematic Take on Kerouac’s Beatnik Classic

Sam Riley's Sal Paradise and Garrett Hedlund’s Dean Moriarty toast to their fathers on the eve of the great road trip in this exclusive clip from Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles’s highly anticipated screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s era-defining novel. A semi-autobiographical tale of wanderlust and self-discovery that heralded the birth of American counterculture after its publication in 1957, On the Road captured the adventures of a handful of hipsters on the run. The inseparable duo are joined by Moriarty’s promiscuous teen wife Marylou, played by Kristen Stewart, in a cross-country saga that sees the trio championing freedom and rebellion while experimenting with drugs, group sex, black culture and jazz. With his latest picture, The Motorcycle Diaries director realizes a dream that has proved an elusive fantasy for innumerable filmmakers since the novel’s initial publication––not least Kerouac himself, who fantasized about playing his alter ego Paradise alongside Marlon Brando’s Moriarty. “We had a month-long rehearsal, which we called 'beatnik bootcamp,'” says Riley of Salles’s desire to capture the source material’s radical spirit. “We had to study ‘beatnikology’ in order to become as knowledgeable as possible about the characters we were playing.” To coincide with the film's release, the original 120-foot manuscript scroll of taped-together tracing paper sheets on which Kerouac wrote the book in a single three-week typewriter binge is currently on display at the British Museum in London.

On the Road is released in the UK by Lionsgate on October 12 and on December 21 in the US.

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Conversations (1)

  • lila.brock
    i don't get what makes you say he's a 'cult director' <a href="http://bit.ly/SmNKVP" target="_blank">http://bit.ly/SmNKVP</a>

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