Walter Salles is a filmmaker’s filmmaker. What I mean by that has everything to do with the way he answers his questions. He’s a careful listener, expounding thoughtfully and respectfully about his craft and his latest work. He’s also a billionaire. Indeed, Salles comes from a Brazilian banking family that boasts a considerable amount of wealth, though you wouldn’t know it from his quiet, almost shy exterior. I met Salles in Minneapolis to discuss his adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic novel, On the Road. It wasn’t long before his reserved demeanor gave way to a fruitful discussion of his film.
On the Road is a provocative work, challenging boundaries and attempting to encapsulate a movement rarely talked abut these days. But where the beat movement faltered many of its progressive philosophies were adopted to time, enduring and shaping modern society. Salles has no shortage of wisdom to impart regarding both the film and his belief in the ideas it puts forth. It’s every bit a continuation of the themes the filmmaker explored in The Motorcycle Diaries, focused through the lens of a confident artist with a lot on his mind:
On the Road spent the better part of 2012 playing the festival circuit, though it’ll be enjoying a proper limited rollout beginning this Friday, March 22nd.