I just watched the trailer for the new film adaptation of Kerouac’s On the Road. I didn’t even know an On the Road film was in the works, let alone around the corner. I’ve always sort of bought the notion that the book was mostly un-filmable because of its wandering voice and pretty much plot-less structure, but this trailer is making me re-think all that. It’s pretty damn good and, though it’s only a minute and a half, seems to embody the kinetic spirit of Kerouac’s work and has me sure I’ll buy myself a ticket when the time comes. Have a look for yourself.
It also makes me think of an under-appreciated gem of a film called “The Last Time I committed Suicide,” which is based on a long letter written by Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac known as the “Joan Anderson” letter. I found a juicy chunk of the letter on a random Myspace page. It’s worth a look. Maybe even two. But hey, don’t take it from me. Kerouac himself later said that this letter, only part of which has survived, played a huge role in his literary development. Anyhow, in the film, a young Thomas Jane plays Cassady and he’s tremendous as the Denver born Beat legend. The film also features an absolutely stellar performance by Keanu Reeves (if you can believe that). There’s also lots of great jazz on the soundtrack.