“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars”.
If there is to be a “bible” for the Beat generation in literature then Jack Keruac’ s “On The Road” is the one to be.
“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars”.
It constantly consumes the very nature of being a “beat”, an immense as well as radical rapture with any past verity, with any notion of a norm, driven by a wild sub-cultured nihilist vagrancy.
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road”.
That’s what Sal Paradise – or probably Keruac himself as the book’s protagonist appear to be his alter ego – constantly conceptualizes; An endless knowledge that comes through experience breaking the rules of the conservative 1940s.
“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view”.
And this book of roads finds its way to the movies almost 60 years after its first publication. The initiative belongs to the Brazilian director Walter Salles, already renowned for road-trip orientated films (The Motorcycle Diaries). With a promising crew (Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen) Salles attempts to visualize root 66, Rocky mountains, Jazz madness, Marylou, Frisco blues, drugs, women, Dean Mortiarty, New Mexico, Cups, California Sun, Religion Ethics, Haciendas, New York, friendship, hippies, punks, Columbia University….; In one single never ending road.
The Film was presented last year during the Cannes film festival, acquiring exceptionally good critiques. Now, we have the opportunity to enjoy it on screen from Thursday 25/07.
“Sal, we gotta go and never stop going ’till we get there.’
‘Where we going, man?’
‘I don’t know but we gotta go.”
Text: Costis Pierides