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The Only People For Me Are The Mad Ones
March 10, 2012 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Here's the trailer for the 50 years in the waiting movie of On The Road.
posted by Xurando (68 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wasn't waiting.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:05 PM on March 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


NOOOOOOOOO
posted by chococat at 12:10 PM on March 10, 2012


Just because something hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean that anyone was actually waiting for it. For example, I'm not waiting for the heat death of the universe.
posted by Grangousier at 12:11 PM on March 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


Walter Salles. I'm in.
posted by Hogshead at 12:19 PM on March 10, 2012


Looks better than I would have expected. Thanks for the head's up.
posted by philip-random at 12:19 PM on March 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


For example, I'm not waiting for the heat death of the universe.

In a world... where nothing... is distinguishable from anything else... one quark... is finding out... that sometimes little things... can make no difference... whatsoever...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:23 PM on March 10, 2012 [44 favorites]


I wasn't repulsed, which is probably the best I could hope for.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:25 PM on March 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought they already made a movie of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Oops, sorry.

I'd rather hold out for a movie based on Canned Heat's On The Road Again. Or even Willie Nelson's On The Road Again.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:30 PM on March 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks pretty good. I loved the pacing and naturalism of The Motorcycle Diaries, so that gives me some faith.
posted by troubles at 12:32 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a deep and abiding hatred for Jack Kerouac, but Viggo Mortensen as William S. looks pretty awesome.
posted by xmutex at 12:37 PM on March 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have a deep and abiding hatred for Jack Kerouac, but Viggo Mortensen as William S. looks pretty awesome.

He really does.

Kerouac is the least-neat Beat, true, but hell, for better or worse, On The Road is the work that ended up being read the most, and had a very real effect on lots of people, just like he intended. This looks like a good adaptation of it.
posted by Drexen at 12:50 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Funny that Mortensen also starred in "The Road".
posted by Burhanistan at 12:53 PM on March 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


One thing which gives me hope is that this seems to not be the product of Hollywood. They'd probably ruin the work. But the fact that it's a primarily French production leads me to believe that it will be made with a lot of respect for the source material and that it will contain the spirit (if not the plot) of the book in a way which won't lead me to want to remove my eyeballs and parts of my cortex after watching it.

I hope they pull it off in a way that even the doubters respect. Because that would be awesome.
posted by hippybear at 12:59 PM on March 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Viggo's next movie is provisionally titled Viggo On The Road. He's also adapting Jim Cartwright's Road for the big screen.
posted by tigrefacile at 1:02 PM on March 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Don't forget the making-of documentaries On "The Road" and On "On The Road"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:22 PM on March 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know why Willie just can't wait to get on the road again, right? Because his bus is packed to the rafters with quality drugs.

But I guess he could bring some inside when he gets home, too.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:31 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Many years ago I had a yellow baseball hat that read "Kerouac" across the front. I'm not 100% sure if I thought it was ironically cool or just plain cool. Shortly after I purchased it, I moved to Houston, Texas for various foolish reasons. Not long after I moved there, I was wearing the cap to a hardware store, shopping for some fasteners one infernally hot Saturday afternoon. As I was waiting my turn in line and chatting pleasantly with a husky fellow in scuffed cowboy boots, he took notice of my hat. Tilting his head sideways and indicating my hat with his eyes, he asked "Is that one of those Japanese tractors?" I simultaneously realized that (1) my life in Texas was going to be a bit different that I expected, (2) my hat was indeed the same shade of yellow as the Caterpillar hats that were quite popular and (3) laughing out loud was not a very wise reaction to his question.

And, whatever to all the haters, I still love Dharma Bums. Of course, I loved The Subterraneans too, so I'm probably not to be trusted.
posted by Lame_username at 1:41 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


That trailer gives room for optimism. Thanks also, Xurando, for the Kerouac clip : that was great.
posted by peacay at 1:42 PM on March 10, 2012


I understand it's printed on one long, continuous roll of film.
posted by dhartung at 1:46 PM on March 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


Jeez, did not know this many people loathed Kerouac. This is approaching Cory Doctorow hate.
posted by TrialByMedia at 1:48 PM on March 10, 2012


Jeez, did not know this many people loathed Kerouac. This is approaching Cory Doctorow hate.

Doctorow! Sloooowly I turned...
posted by hal9k at 1:55 PM on March 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Viggo's next movie is provisionally titled Viggo On The Road. He's also adapting Jim Cartwright's Road for the big screen.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:56 PM on March 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love the hell out of Kerouac, or at least my inner eighteen year old does, and yeah... I'll probably see this. And I'll probably grumble.

It looks like it could suck a lot more than it does, which is something.
posted by sonika at 2:13 PM on March 10, 2012


Opening May 23 in Cannes
posted by Xurando at 2:23 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


That copy I had oh that copy I had got me to philly once on a trip out of phoenix with my brother to see my other brother in chicago all the time he's just playing that god awful laurie anderson concert tape a whole set, 4 hours of it flipping the tape from one side to the other and fishing around by my feet for the rest of them and all with that minimalist ha ha ha ha stuff and not like any of the rock and roll I liked and my brother not caring and telling me about the foundations of the mormon church and what I great swindler not old joe smith was, but the true rapscalion gangster of the bunch old brigham young who marched his followers down to 40 and 3 slaves and said "this is the place" and then muscled all the non believers out of the promised land and eventually when I fell asleep first somewhere in new mexico he gets pulled over for speeding and somehow coming out of my dream there's this feeling of guilt that he got the ticket because I wasn't watching the Road before us that I wasn't awake to go "hey man, slow down" and anyway what was his hurry except we were young enough not to know that when you are young you should never be in a hurry and especially be never in a hurry to get old as I am now and this happened twice more each time I fell asleep listening to him give me a history lesson which was his passion dig history and all that crazy belief that shouldered all that crazy effort into that what got us here but here is only a little island on the way to tomorrow and all these gas stations that trip the attendants all ghosts ex people who cease to exist after we've fueled up his little corolla and jumped back onto the highway and the second time he gets the cops flashing the sex lights behind us I'm feeling extra guilty that I nodded off and I don't even remember where we were, but the heartland was somewhere nearby maybe it was oklahoma all those fenceposts like goblins in the moonlight standing vigil for the smeared red bunnies and possums we'd shoot over and the third time was really the jinx because I'd only napped for twenty minutes in twenty hours though I'd taken a few shifts at driving while he slept but maybe I was born just a little more cautious than him though in the long run I was the black sheep of us three and so that third ticket he got at the start of that endless flat stretch into illinois that's when I knew it must somehow be my fault but we pressed on and got there and what a there it was first like a smear on the horizon in the rain and grey and then my heart in my chest as we slip down overpasses into the city itself and park on some street somewhere and I get out and I'm dancing and screaming because I'd never been in a big city before never been in a canyon between buildings this vast before hyper we'd made it all the way in one crazy bleary hop and my brother telling me shhhh keep cool and I'm ready to climb the faces of towers give the next person who walks past a hug and there my brother is putting his shoes on and he tells me that while I was spazzing out he'd seen a guy come out of the subway nice as you please only to have two cops run up the stairs behind the guy and clobber him and pull him back down into the depths and I look around to this empty city street and back to my brother's wild eyes and all I can do is just keep that insane screaming country madman inside while we find a pay phone to call then meet up with my oldest brother who I hadn't seen in years at that cheezeboiger cheezeboiger cheezeboiger place on lower wacker drive which for all the world is like one of those dark places under an underpass where only trolls live and for the first time ever ever in our lives the three of us have beers together and talk about mom and dad like they didn't just see us off two days prior and then later that day walking up with them and giving the little gas station change in my pocket to see all those famous works of art at that museum they have up there then the day after that deposited with my backpack and yes that copy of Kerouac's novel at the bus station after pointing at the map and announcing my destination and borrowing the fare to go see an old friend in philly and listening to his that guy's records and soaking up the scene he shows me a coffee house one morning some crazy gold leafed chinese food palace that night and his amazing zine collection where he's got one that's done my some ex merry pranksters and look there's a whole issue devoted to remembering Neal Cassady and wouldn't you know by now that cat is my personal superhero and role model and then the next night calling that girl I missed but had to run away from who I'd told all my friends I wouldn't be back for calling her at two am and having a shouting match with my friend over the hour and my unwillingness to sleep with him or whatever but that dawn I'm back on my heels lugging my backpack up to independence hall and being pissed somehow that I find the doors locked but eventually finding the greyhound out there and spending the rest of the day and the rest of my money seeing who would wire me a ticket home and there I am rereading that copy of On The Road again eventually putting it down and breaking out a needle and thread to mend my backpack I look up and there's this pretty blond and we start making eyes at each other like in a film except I've never been in this film before never had the girl so clearly studying me so after half an hour I swallow the lump in my throat and go sit besides her and if wasn't so young I would have realized how easy she made it for me -- me who's only had one big serious fling and had to run three thousand miles away to escape it though now am running back to it if I can swing it but this pretty girl is from france a nanny from across the water in new jersey and she's meeting a friend but if I'm in town another day give her a call then I get a kiss on the cheek from her and her number in my book and then she's gone and I'm back to being alone until the ticket comes through and it does and I must have had some sort of magic from that kiss, or maybe there's an attraction of the lovelorn oozing off me that girls pick up on because on that long three day ride back to the desert I get good conversations and addresses of two more gals that I can't even remember anymore but that copy I'd read must have been 3 times over by that point on the trip and when I got back I gave that copy to my best friend that sad half cherokee who we all call Buddha and no one saw him for two weeks because he read it all in one gulp and hitched his way across the country and back with it as well. You can't watch that book in a movie, you have to -- can only -- live it yourself.
posted by Catblack at 2:23 PM on March 10, 2012 [19 favorites]


I'm a Kerouac fan and an old perv to boot so I'm gonna see it. On The Road AND a nekkid Kristen Stewart....how it it go wrong?
posted by buggzzee23 at 2:29 PM on March 10, 2012


I've been tapped to make the game adaptation of the movie (Think: Enter the Matrix) that expands on the source material. It'll be a little like Outrun, but set in the Beatnick era.
posted by hellojed at 2:30 PM on March 10, 2012


I was most of the way through the Dharma Bums and a bit spooked as it was eerily familiar. Then it dawned on me that I'd hitched along most of the route covered in the book.
posted by sammyo at 2:34 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jeez, did not know this many people loathed Kerouac. This is approaching Cory Doctorow hate.

I certainly don't think that is the case at all. I think many of us cannot imagine that a film could ever do the book justice. That's where the rejection of this adaptation comes from.
posted by msali at 2:49 PM on March 10, 2012


I scoffed at the typecasting of Kirsten Stewart, but the trailer surprised me. Looks better than that Howl movie with James Franco, at the very least.
posted by Corduroy at 2:56 PM on March 10, 2012


At least no Keanu. Too many translations of outsiderish works to film have been marred by that skidmark.
posted by O Blitiri at 3:02 PM on March 10, 2012


I certainly don't think that is the case at all. I think many of us cannot imagine that a film could ever do the book justice. That's where the rejection of this adaptation comes from.

Speak for yourself. I loathe his work, especially On the Road. The film will do the book justice because, at the very least, it will be shorter.
posted by samizdat at 3:07 PM on March 10, 2012


Well, if it's no good, we'll still always have Goin' Down The Road.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 3:11 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The main reason I think this has a shot of being good is that James Franco is NOT involved.
posted by dnash at 3:35 PM on March 10, 2012


Viggo's next movie is provisionally titled Viggo On The Road. He's also adapting Jim Cartwright's Road for the big screen.

I know you're joking but I would love to see Viggo star in Road.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:37 PM on March 10, 2012


My theory about Kerouac is that most of the hate is due to what he did in the last few years of his life, when he was pretty clearly off his rocker. I wonder if he suffered from football brain damage.
posted by bukvich at 3:43 PM on March 10, 2012


My theory about Kerouac is that most of the hate is due to what he did in the last few years of his life, when he was pretty clearly off his rocker. I wonder if he suffered from football brain damage.

Yeah, that and the stress of sudden fame, the inanity of being a media celebrity, and the new counter-culture he didn't relate to.
posted by ovvl at 4:14 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


And lots of alcohol.
posted by philip-random at 4:17 PM on March 10, 2012


Viggo's next movie is provisionally titled Viggo On The Road. He's also adapting Jim Cartwright's Road for the big screen.

...

Don't forget the making-of documentaries On "The Road" and On "On The Road"


Also, let us not forget Viggo in "on the Road ... to Mordor I, II and III."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:28 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


And lots of alcohol.

Cause and effect? Um, beatnikism?
posted by ovvl at 4:29 PM on March 10, 2012


I hope this movie includes the scene in the book where the protagonist is crouched in a parking lot late at night making peanut butter sandwiches for his cross-country bus-ride back east, because that particular image is etched in my mind. And George Shearing playing piano.
posted by ovvl at 4:32 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


And lots of alcohol.

Cause and effect? Um, beatnikism?


People don't drink like Kerouac drank as a lifestyle choice. Guy literally drank himself to death - internal hemorrhaging from a lifetime of alcohol abuse. Because he was an alcoholic.
posted by gompa at 4:40 PM on March 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Um, beatnikism?

And if you wished to earn the man's ire, you'd call him a beatnik -- very derogatory. He was a beat, a play on beatific.
posted by philip-random at 4:50 PM on March 10, 2012


beatnik -- very derogatory

Yup. Diminutive term applied to beats from without. A take-off on Sputnik. A way, in other words, to dismiss them as pinkos.

(On a sidenote, hippie was originally a term the beats used to refer to wannabes who mimicked their style and look but didn't get the whole philosophy.)
posted by gompa at 5:04 PM on March 10, 2012


And if you wished to earn the man's ire, you'd call him a beatnik -- very derogatory. He was a beat, a play on beatific.

I thought it was Herbert Huncke sayin': "Man, I'm Beat!"
posted by ovvl at 5:06 PM on March 10, 2012


I understand it's printed on one long, continuous roll of film.

That's not filmmaking, it's shooting.
posted by Beardman at 5:12 PM on March 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


There are some really great sentences in On The Road. I don't know if they're good enough to make reading the whole mess worthwhile, but at least worth reading a few of the better chapters.
posted by empath at 5:47 PM on March 10, 2012


I don't know how compelling a movie they're going to make from a non-story about a bunch of drunks being dumbasses though.
posted by empath at 5:49 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll say this about On The Road, though. I read it when I was in my early 20s, still living at home, and I was kind of taken by the romance of just finding your thing and doing it, no matter what it was. Just taking chances and doing what you feel like from moment to moment. It was actually kind of exhilarating when I read a chapter that implied that he drove on the highway that cut my home town in two. It drew a connection between this mythic, glamorous life and my own world. I just had to drive 10 minutes away, and I could be driving the same stretch of asphalt that they had driven on, decades before. The whole "Mad ones" speech became kind of a personal touchstone that I thought about and recalled a lot. I found some "mad ones" of my own soon after that and followed them for years, and I had a lot of amazing experiences because of it, and I don't know that I would have risked basically throwing my whole life away as I had known it if I hadn't read that book at exactly that time in my life. And I'm in a way better place now than I would have been if I had kept doing what I was doing and hadn't taken the risks that I had (basically quitting my job, moving away from my home town, finding all new friends, going to raves all up and down the east coast, taking probably excessive amounts of psychedelics and eventually getting into music promotion and djing, not necessarily in that order).
posted by empath at 6:17 PM on March 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's a question - would you read, "On The Road, (Abridged)"?

No? Then why would you watch a "A Film Adaptation of, On The Road (Abridged)"

I think it maybe wise and foolishly healthy to read On the Road once in your formative years and then attempt to create your own Road adventure.

And anyways, riding around aimlessly in cars is not really all that cool, anymore. Take a hike, or something.
posted by alex_skazat at 6:35 PM on March 10, 2012


I always thought the only character/person in the whole book that actually seemed to care about the protagonist was Old Bull Lee/Burroughs, and having Mortensen in that role, it gives me some hope. It might be enough to convince me to see it, though I can't imagine it having the same impact. I love the book, and re-read it from time to time. It's interesting how my reactions to it have changed over time, things I've noticed on reading it again. But, and this is my interpretation, one of the peak moments in the novel, the moment where they finally feel they've found true freedom, is when they are able to, for the first time, turn the record player up as loud as it will go with no worries or cares. How can that possibly retain it's power now, when car stereos, headphones, and everything we have for playing music is so available to us, and we feel more than free to turn it up as loud as it can go? I'm interested to see how they handle that, how they try to convey the newness and power in something that most of us take for granted.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:15 PM on March 10, 2012


[...] no one saw him for two weeks because he read it all in one gulp and hitched his way across the country and back with it as well. You can't watch that book in a movie, you have to -- can only -- live it yourself.

Ok, for that comment, you are now my personal hero of the week.

(Also: football brain damage? Kerouac wasn't that good at football. And just being a jerk the last few years of his life? That was really just the apex of a lifelong career in jerk-holery. And I say this as someone who pretty much worships the dude.)
posted by sonika at 7:33 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought it was Herbert Huncke sayin': "Man, I'm Beat!"

This is true. "I'm beat," was something Huncke would say (picking it up from the jazz guys, I believe). But Kerouac also made the beatific connection. I'm guessing that was part of the appeal -- it worked both ways.
posted by philip-random at 7:53 PM on March 10, 2012


My super-cool Dad had a small part as the college dean in a low-budget independent film called Finding Jack Kerouac. That is all, I'm just proud of him. =)
posted by lazaruslong at 7:57 PM on March 10, 2012


Sam Riley as Sal Paradise and Ian Curtis? Impressive.
posted by stargell at 8:05 PM on March 10, 2012


Walter Salles. I'm in.

Indeed. I'm really struck, also, by how much the film seems to maintain that same visual aesthetic of The Motorcycle Diaries (another road trip story), a certain graininess, drained colors, thoughtful cinematography, tight contemplative shots of a vista followed up by candid, wild, loose party scenes. This is almost seems like it will be an American version of that film in some respects. "American," that is. The Motorcycle Diaries is a very "American" story itself.
posted by stroke_count at 8:34 PM on March 10, 2012


he's just playing that god awful laurie anderson concert tape

I lost all interest in reading after this deeply deluded fragment.
posted by mykescipark at 9:49 PM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aragorn and Uncle Bill.....Mr. Mortensen has quite the pedigree!
posted by pdxjmorris at 10:20 PM on March 10, 2012


Funny that Mortensen also starred in "The Road".

Just so long as neither he nor anyone else remakes these awful things.


Also,
MetaFilter: Take a hike

or something


posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:46 AM on March 11, 2012


Just so long as neither he nor anyone else remakes these awful things.

Hey now. One of my favorite movies is more or less a remake of that formula.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:44 AM on March 11, 2012


In another beat news, Steve Buscemi is directing a screen adaptation of Burrough's "Queer."
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:18 AM on March 11, 2012


The trailer looks good and the cast looks good and Motorcycle Diaries was a pretty good flick, so color me excited. I like especially that there's a suggestion of the tragedy that's at the core of the book. Because On The Road is nothing if not sad as hell.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:27 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]




In another beat news, Steve Buscemi is directing a screen adaptation of Burrough's "Queer."

I seem to remember Queer as having no plot. It was just a fictional Bill Burroughs lusting after some guy in Mexico. That ought to make for a boring movie.
posted by dortmunder at 11:14 AM on March 11, 2012


I seem to remember Queer as having no plot. It was just a fictional Bill Burroughs lusting after some guy in Mexico. That ought to make for a boring movie.

From the linked article: "The plot will mainly focus on the events described in the author’s famous first ever novels Queer and Junkie and it will revolve mostly around the time that the writer spent in Mexico City in the late 1940s and early 1950s." ... "Burroughs also accidentally killed his wife, Joan Vollmer, while trying to shoot an apple off her head, an incident that is not even mentioned in the writing. In fact very little is said about Vollmer altogether, but the movie will include the famous crime and build its plot around the incident as well as Burroughs’ early works."
posted by hippybear at 11:31 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]



From the linked article: "The plot will mainly focus on the events described in the author’s famous first ever novels Queer and Junkie and it will revolve mostly around the time that the writer spent in Mexico City in the late 1940s and early 1950s." ... "Burroughs also accidentally killed his wife, Joan Vollmer, while trying to shoot an apple off her head, an incident that is not even mentioned in the writing. In fact very little is said about Vollmer altogether, but the movie will include the famous crime and build its plot around the incident as well as Burroughs’ early works."

So it's going to be a remake of Cronenberg's Naked Lunch without all the surreal stuff.
posted by dortmunder at 12:34 PM on March 11, 2012


Given his impact on the culture, I see no problem with more than one fictional examination of key moments in William Burroughs life. He was a man who knew he was gay yet married a woman anyway because well, he did like her and what the hell else could he do in the reality he was in (ie: it was illegal, mentally sick to be gay at the time). And then he ended up killing her in a careless moment of drunken spontaneity which, for a man who did not believe in accidents, couldn't help but kick open the trap door to the vast room that stored all of his unexamined STUFF.

The culture is still trying to figure it all out.
posted by philip-random at 12:45 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]



Given his impact on the culture, I see no problem with more than one fictional examination of key moments in William Burroughs life.

Neither do I, but if they want to make a biopic they should just make a biopic. There's enough material for three movies in Ted Morgan's Literary Outlaw, which will be back in print later this year. It's not really an adaptation of Queer if it centers around an event which took place in real life, but not in the book.
posted by dortmunder at 1:23 PM on March 11, 2012


Literary Outlaw is an essential work, no question. I'd argue that anyone who cares to have serious opinion on American culture since Hiroshima should considerate a prerequisite. And I'd love to see HBO do a big deal mini-series adaptation of it, maybe even starring Viggo Mortensen.

But artists gotta do what artists gotta do. Just as there's umpteen takes on someone like JFK floating around out there at any given point in time, why not William Burroughs? Particularly if they're coming from the likes of Walter Salles, Steve Buscemi, David Cronenberg. Hell, I'd love to see Pixar take a swing at him (with him?).
posted by philip-random at 1:51 PM on March 11, 2012


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