On the Road

Synopsis & Film Details

From the director of The Motorcycle Diaries, the independent drama On the Road competed for the Palme d’Or Prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Based on the iconic Beat Generation novel by Jack Kerouac, the film features young stars Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, and Kristen Stewart in the quintessential American road movie. Riley plays Sal Paradise, a writer whose life is shaken and ultimately re-defined by the arrival of the free-spirited and fearless Dean Moriarty (Hedlund) and his girl Marylou (Stewart). Traveling cross-country, Sal and Dean venture out on a personal quest for freedom from the conformity and conservatism engulfing them in search of the unknown: the pursuit of “it,” the pure essence of experience. Co-starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Alice Braga, and more.

Post-screening Discussion Circle
Join Orosi native and novelist Tim Z. Hernandez and Selma native Al Franco to talk about the film. Hernandez is the author of the forthcoming book Mañana Means Heaven, based on the true story of Bea Franco – a.k.a. Terry, the “Mexican Girl” in Kerouac’s book. Al Franco is Bea’s son.

Screening Sponsor: Fresno Arts Council

Critic Reviews

These people were getting stoned and having casual affairs when the rest of the country was watching the Milton Berle show. They were listening to complicated jazz when “The Tennessee Waltz” was topping the charts. To escape convention so thoroughly is a rare thing, and though the Beat life gradually begins to look exhausting and ugly, it’s hard not to see the conventional world through their eyes, as populated by zombies.

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


..Salles has made a movie with more wisdom in it than you might expect, and he hasn’t attempted the impossible task of trying to film the book. He just films what the book’s about, and it serves him well.

Ty Burr, The Boston Globe


There’s probably no substitute for reading “On the Road’s” incandescent prose. But this filmed interpretation is a very fine version all on its own.

Colin Covert, Star Tribune