“On The Road” featured last week. This week’s “Round-Up” (the last of 2012) begins with a brief note on two further Kerouac adaptations, both of which are scheduled to have their premieres in Park City, Utah, next month, as part of the Sundance Film Festival – “Kill Your Darlings”, we’ve already spoken of (here, here and here – not to mention, here) –
(An interesting article on the background to that movie may be read here).
“Big Sur”, however, we may not yet have mentioned. Michael Polish’s adaptation features French-American actor Jean-Marc Barr as Kerouac’s alter-ego, Jack Duluoz, and Josh Lucas as the charismatic Cody Pomeray (Neal Cassady). The cast also includes Radha Mitchell (Evelyn/Carolyn Cassady) Anthony Edwards (Lorenzo Monsanto/Lawrence Ferlinghetti), Balthazar Getty (Pat McLear/Michael McClure), Henry Thomas (Ben Fagan/Philip Whalen), Patrick Fischler (Dave Wain/Lew Welch), and Stana Katic (Lenora/Lenore Kandel). Both movies we are, needless to say, very much looking forward to.
On The Road? – Here’s a few more American reviews of it – Chris Barsanti in Pop Matters – “In adapting Jack Kerouac’s famously skittish book, On The Road, Walter Salles has conjured a movie that’s raging and serene, always looking over the horizon while grooving on the beauty of the here and now. That is no small feat”. Leonard Maltin – “Salles tries to capture the immediacy and spontaneous nature of the book, using long takes and even allowing the camera to drift out of focus when a character moves about. Prominent actors…turn up at unexpected moments, playing characters our protagonists meet, only briefly, in their travels. But the movie’s real strength is in evoking the feel of the road in a now-vanished America. If there were an award for location scouting, along with production design, this film would be a prime candidate” – and Richard Corliss in Time magazine (he had originally reviewed the film here) – “Walter Salles’ adaptation…is probably as decent approximation of the book as a conventional movie can achieve…The movie’s visual texture is both acute and evocative, a vision of postwar America as it might have looked on its sexiest day. Moment to moment, in perhaps half of its teeming vignettes, “On The Road” is alive“).
Here’s Kerouac biographer, Ann Charters and Walter Salles discussing the film in a Q & A after December 14’s NYC IFC screening. Go see the film.