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“Everybody had come to make the movies, even me.”
May 10, 2012 8:15 AM   Subscribe

On The Road, On The Screen: 'A large part of On The Road’s powerful and ongoing appeal undoubtedly stems from the lyricism of its language -- as opposed to its linearity, or even narrative coherence. Translating this to the screen could quite simply be impossible. Indeed, one suspects it is the reason that, up till now, so many screenwriters have failed in turning Kerouac’s text into visual form.'
posted by the man of twists and turns (20 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
The trailer, previously on Metafilter.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:22 AM on May 10, 2012


I'm not sure why this would be necessary or desirable.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:26 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Interesting article which does lay out the pitfalls and possibilities of the movie. I'll be interested to see what they end up with. It won't be anything like reading the book, but it still might be a good film.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 AM on May 10, 2012


And, if the movie gets more people to read the book, that would be the best of all possible outcomes, IMO.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 AM on May 10, 2012


If Naked Lunch can be done, then On The Road must be possible.
posted by melt away at 8:35 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why this would be necessary or desirable.

Because, love it or hate it (or just be indifferent to it), the book was at the root of Beat culture and thus did its bit to change the western world. A quality movie that explores its subject matter, themes etc sounds eminently desirable to me.
posted by philip-random at 8:47 AM on May 10, 2012


I'm intrigued, but it's a Chinese Democracy kind of intrigue.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:51 AM on May 10, 2012


If Naked Lunch can be done, then On The Road must be possible.

Cronenberg's Naked Lunch wasn't an adaptation of the book. It is better understood as a story about Burroughs' experience writing Naked Lunch. And speaking of Burroughs, the most exciting thing about this On the Road adaptation is Viggo Mortenson playing a fictionalized version of WSB.
posted by dortmunder at 8:52 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I Axl on board? I had not heard that!
posted by mwhybark at 8:52 AM on May 10, 2012


There's a film school essay waiting to be written:
Viggo Mortenson: From 'The Road' To 'On The Road'
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:56 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Catch Magic Trip on Netflix (about Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters) if you want to watch footage of Neil Cassady driving a bus on speed.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:57 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want a Beat movie with lyricism and nonlinearity, there's always Pull My Daisy.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:59 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think On the Road should only be done as an animated film drawn on a very long roll of paper.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The problem with On the Road is that it is a very male-centric view of things. Women are props.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:24 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think On the Road should only be done as an animated film drawn on a very long roll of paper.....

I like the idea a filmmaker friend had about twenty years ago when quality camcorders were finally getting halfway affordable. Hit the road with a few actors and just shoot it in the current version of the old locations, so if there's a McDonald's Golden Arches in the background or a condo complex where a greasy spoon used to be, so be it. But keep the 50s jargon and feel. Lots of jazz and cigarettes ...
posted by philip-random at 10:15 AM on May 10, 2012


The problem with On the Road is that it is a very male-centric view of things. Women are props.

Good thing this isn't a problem with American movies then!
posted by joe lisboa at 10:32 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


This was the subject of a trivia question that I wrote for last night's game.

Category: Things that Make Me Want To Beat Someone

Thankfully, I doubt anyone will ever adapt Desolation Angels
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:36 AM on May 10, 2012




Thankfully, I doubt anyone will ever adapt Desolation Angels
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:36 AM on May 10 [+] [!]


I was going to snark about Hollywood trying to sanitize Bukowski, but a quick search shows that I'm not cynical enough.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:57 AM on May 10, 2012


Stagger Lee: Peanuts, by Charles Bukowski
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:13 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I've probably mentioned this before, and will probably mention this again, but I wonder if the book isn't too dated to get the key moment across. For me, the one true moment of freedom in the book, when they've finally gone from end to end in America, looking for that moment, is in the brothel in Mexico, where they turn up the volume of the record player as loud as they want, for the first time in their lives. I remember the scene being striking each and every time I've read the book, but also so very, very dated. The key moment of freedom is pretty much what we hear from blocks away as someone has their car stereo blasting, or that moment when you've got your home theater set up, and you want to give it a test blast.

Mortensen as Burroughs guarantees I'll see it. Whether I'll like it or not depends on how they work that scene in Mexico.

Also, does anyone know if their using the fictional names (Dean Moriarity) or the real names (Jack Kerouac) for the characters?
posted by Ghidorah at 4:08 PM on May 10, 2012


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