On the Road at Cannes

Charles Gilbert, Jerry Cimino, and Nathaniel Karmitz

Charles Gillibert (left) and Nathanaël Karmitz (right) of MK2 Productions with Jerry Cimino (center)

As you read this, airplanes from around the globe are descending on France with hundreds of people poised to attend The 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival. Some of those people are Walter Salles, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and many other members of the cast and production team from On the Road.

Talk about an exciting time! For over thirty years, thousands upon thousands of Beat Generation fans of all nationalities have been anxiously awaiting this historic event. The debates have raged: “Who are the right actors & actresses?” “How can anyone ever do On the Road justice?” “What would Kerouac think?” “Don’t screw with my personal vision of that book!”

All I know is I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to have been witness to this unfolding since 2005 when I sat in John Allen Cassady’s living room in San Jose, California along with his mother Carolyn Cassady and his sisters Cathy and Jami as they spoke to screenwriter Jose Rivera who was visiting for the day.

As the core group of both Kerouac and Beat Generation fans we all feel we have a stake in this film. It’s a tribute both to a great work of art as well as real-life people most of us never met who had a tremendous impact on many of our lives.

As a fan I couldn’t be more proud. After thirty years, this is the team of filmmakers who got it done. And they got it done in a fashion that allowed the film to be selected for arguably the premier film festival on the planet – The Cannes Film Festival. No small feat.

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the show.