Helmer Walter Salles, cast onhand after screening at the Top of the Standard

“‘On the Road’ was birthed three blocks from where we stand tonight,” helmer Walter Salles said at Thursday’s preem of IFC’s movie version. Salles reminisced that the first time he read the Jack Kerouac novel it was 1974 and he was 18 year old and living in his native Brazil, which was “under the dark ages of a military dictatorship.

“The book carried all the freedom that we were looking for,” he added.

After the SVA Theater screening, the cast and crew took in some jazz tunes by Cole Ramstad and the Chinatown All Stars at the Top of the Standard.

Scribe Jose Rivera, who also worked on “The Motorcycle Diaries” with Salles, believes that the type of journey Kerouac’s characters take is necessary but difficult in today’s world.

“The great thing about the road movies is that it shows what happens when you can get lost and I think it’s so important to get lost,” Rivera said. “Everybody has a GPA and Google Maps. I think it’s so important to leave all that and find yourself in being lost.”

With two novel adaptations under his belt, Rivera says the next book he would like to tackle is “The God of Small Things.”

“It’s one of the most beautiful books ever and very political and heartbreaking,” he said. “I would pay to do that.”

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