Walter Salles did it right: captured the entire road as an illumination.
There’s such a magical environment around Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road and it is not only the invention of the Beat Generation but the concept of young people trying to create themselves experiencing the road with intensity and passion.
I’ve read On the Road several times through the last decade – I’m 23 and it was part of my life in the same way it bonded to many other lives around the world in different time and contexts. I remember the first time I read it, I was about 14-15 years old.
After watching a jazz VHS about “the beatnik” and reading an article about the dotcom generation perception about the book, I realized I had to read it.
In no longer than one month, Brazilians will have the chance to watch it in the big screen. As I wrote in the beginning, Walter Salles was responsible for the project and I expect nothing but a beautiful and emotional story – the same way I felt when I watched the young Che (Motorcycle Diaries) crossing the rivers in South America.
Instead of the enthusiasm created in Cannes this week, I kept myself thinking about Mr Salles interview for a Brazilian newspaper. He said he likes the questions young people make and the doubts around 20-something years old people.
It may reduce the book but is actually the soul of the beatnik movement: young people trying to find themselves on the road. Unfortunately, the road may bring more questions than answers. At least it is the way I understood the novel – nothing more than “my own confussion”, as Kerouac wrote.
Let us be on the road.