Friday, 6 January 2012

Walter Salles and The Beat Museum Keep the Spirit of the Beats Alive - The Filming And Cast of On The Road (Part 2)

Yesterday, in Part 1 of my exclusive interview with Walter Salles and Jerry Cimino, I wrote about the movie On the Road, a collaboration among Francis Ford Coppola, Walter Salles and Jose Rivera based on Jack Kerouac’s book, “On the Road,” and the journey to bring Salles’ donated 1949 Hudson to its new home, the Beat Museum in San Francisco, CA. The film is a $25 million dollar production and it deals with the spontaneous cross-country trips and situations encountered by Sal Paradise, Dean Moriarty and friends as they sought to satisfy their lust for experience. In Part 2, we focus more on the film itself. Specifically, can a film based on a book set in the 1950s and published in 1957 remain relevant in today’s world? Will the book’s themes, translated into film, resonate well with audiences?

I went looking for answers and approached director Salles and Beat Museum director and founder Jerry Cimino. They were both extremely gracious with their time and provided me with incredible insights. Cimino never rushed me through our detailed conversation. Salles took the time to answer my questions despite being on vacation in his home country of Brazil for the first time in 18 months due his dedication to working on the film. Initially, I focused the discussion on the relevance of the Beats in today’s world but it was inevitable we would end up exploring the process and expectations that come from interpreting a book into film, as well as talking about the film and cast.

I turned to Cimino first to help put into context the book’s relevance in today’s world, particularly for those who may just be discovering Kerouac and the Beats.

“On The Road” speaks to a timeless issue; it’s about a quest for authenticity. It’s about a quest for living life and looking for joy in the world. It’s timeless in the sense that every person lives and goes through these moments,” he says. “I think Kerouac’s way of writing and his style and the way he portrays his characters is so endearing to people because people see themselves or their friends in the characters.”

He considers the book to be an archetype of spiritual quest and shares that notion with others as part of the educational aspect that inherently comes from running the Beat Museum. “A lot of people think it’s all about the sex, the drugs, the jazz, rock and roll, or the music and that’s fine; that gets them in the door. Once they get here, we try to help them understand this is really about finding out who you are in the world. It’s about finding in your own voice, your own level of authenticity and what’s important to you.”
Read the full article at Your Entertainment Corner

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