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Concrete Cinema: Kerouac’s On The Road

Jack Kerouac’s infamous novel, On The Road, was published in 1957 to a group of silent, but curious beatniks. A decade after the novel was released, it became the theme for many 60s-era road trips and treks across the country, creating a voice for the Beat Generation that previously didn’t exist.

Recently, the prose of On The Road was adapted to the silver screen. Brazilian director Walter Salles, famous for making The Motorcycle Diaries, took on the challenge of taking this acclaimed novel and bringing it to life.

The story follows Sal Paradise, a young novelist who is shaken up by the arrival of Dean, and his girlfriend Marylou. Dean, who is a free spirited character with no fear, encourages Sal to let loose, showing him that it’s okay to adventure into the unknown.

Concrete Cinema: Kerouac's On The Road

photo by Iburiedpaul

Throughout the book, the three travel across the country on road trips. Together, they journey to San Francisco, New York City, New Orleans, Denver, Sacramento, Cincinnati, St. Louis and even Mexico. Sometimes they travel by car and sometimes by bus, but it’s no secret that traveling and being on the road are both huge themes in this novel.

In fact, the story is so popular and has such a wide influence that many other poets, actors and writers (Bob Dylan, Hunter S. Thompson and Jim Morrison) have accredited Kerouac for their inspiration in all things artistic.

As for the movie, it is said to be beautifully filmed and gives the story a surreal intensity, making each scene heartfelt and honest.

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