By Emily Stockham

“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, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…”

On The Road by Jack Kerouac. 

Probably one of the best quotations from one of my favourite novels of all time- so you can imagine my delight when I first heard that it was being made into a feature length film. 

The end of this summer will bring cinemas the ultimate journey. Cinemas across the UK will play host to the cinema adaptation of the classic novel, On the Road, by Jack Kerouac. The novel that made Bob Dylan say: It changed my life like it changed everyone else’s. 

A quotation which I feel conveys the poignancies of the text and why everyone should be eagerly anticipating the cinematic version set to feature a host of stars including: Garrett Hedlund Troy, Tron:Legacy; Sam Riley Brighton Rock; Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst.  

On the Road is a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac, written in April 1951. It is a largely autobiographical work based on the spontaneous cross-country adventures of Kerouac and his friends during the middle of the 20th century. It is often considered a defining work of the post-war Beat Generation that was inspired by jazz, poetry, and drug experiences. Yet although this is all true, the book also tackles the ideas of growing up and searching for the meaning or purpose of life- the elusive and constant search for ‘It’. 

Deep stuff, but certainly something everyone can relate to. 
The complex subject matter of the book and the imagery that is so time specific has meant that this film has been attempted and in production for several years. 

Filmmaker Francis Coppola brought the rights to On the Road in 1979 and tried and failed to direct and produce it several times. He said, “I tried to write a script, but I never knew how to do it”. I can see why- the text is complex and the characters are erratic- it seems impossible to cram it in to a film as it is at times nonsensical and unpredictable. 

However, when he hired Walter Salles [The Motorcycle Diaries] to direct the film it finally began to take shape. Filming began in August 2010 and was preview at Cannes film festival this year. 

It received mixed reviews [surprise surprise] which I expected for two reasons. One the leading ladies are played by Kirsten Dunst and Kristen Stewart and we know how much everyone loves to slate them! And the second reason is because the book is a cult classic. However, I think we should applaud book to film adaptations and view it as an entirely separate piece of art. 

A film about growing up and having a lust for life, and finding your own way is surely something that will be a must-see for all. This novel has inspired countless songs, novels, poems and hitchhikers over the years as it taps into everyone’s sense of adventure. It truly is a book everyone should read, and I’m hoping the film will live up to expectations and bring a new dimension to a fantastic story.

Due for release 21st September 2012 across the UK.

About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing – although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.