Jack Kerouac's later The Subter-raneans? And back then, in terms of American movies, Hollywood was the only game in town. (Well, there was John Cassavetes, and though they were both counter-culture in their way, I don't picture Kerouac and Cassavetes melding creatively, expansively, emotionally, interest-wise or most other ways. Do you?)
Casting is important to most movies, but here, given the iconic characters that fill the book, getting it right is vital, and Salles and his four -- count-em! -- casting directors (click and scroll down) have done a bang-up job.
TRON: Legacy) has grown up some, and he captures the easy-going sexuality, sensuality, charisma and mystique of Moriarty/Cassady about as well as I can imagine this being done by anyone. Bi-sexual but probably more inclined toward the gals, the character can't be pinned down for anything, breaking hearts as a matter of course -- including, it seems Kerouac's, even though the relationship supposedly never got past heavy-duty friendship.
Kristen Stewart (two photos above) and Kirsten Dunst (just above) to Vigo Mortensen (below) doing a dandy job of bringing William Burroughs to visual and audio life.
Amy Adams, Elizabeth Moss, Tom Sturridge and Steve Buscemi are just a few of the terrific actors on view, and yet so attuned is each to his/her character and so well does the screenplay and direction make use of them -- and so truly bizarre are many of the folk shown here -- that we get not a whiff of the silly "cameo role" nonsense that something like the original Around the World is 80 Days offered up.
IFC Films and Sundance Selects and running 124 minutes, opens tomorrow, Friday, December 21, in New York City at the IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and in the Los Angeles area at the Arclight Hollywood and The Landmark. It'll be all over the place, come January 2013.