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Discovering the Purpose of Life in the Films of Walter Salles


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

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—Jack Kerouac


September 22–24, 2014

The Director

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Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

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September 22–24, 2014

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The Director

The Director

The Films

Walter Salles.............................................................08 Film Awards...............................................................16 An Interview...............................................................20

On the Road..............................................................42 Foreign Land.............................................................46 The Motorcycle Diaries..........................................48 Behind the Sun........................................................52 Central Station.........................................................54 Roger Ebert Review................................................58

The Festival Venue...........................................................................30 Schedule.....................................................................34 Lodging........................................................................37


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

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September 22–24, 2014

The

The Director

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Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

Walter Salles A Biography of the DIrector

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Walter Salles is probably the most widely known Brazilian director and producer. By looking at the evolution of the Brazilian film industry in the last 10 to 15 years, you can see the impact that Salles' artistry has had. He has made the art of film in Brazil more visible. Walter Moreira Salles, Jr. was born on April 12, 1956 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is a filmmaker and film producer of international prominence. He is the son of Elizinha Goncalves and Walter Moreira Salles, a Brazilian banker and ambassador, and the brother of Jo達o Moreira Salles, also a filmmaker. Both, along with two other brothers, banker, Pedro Moreira Salles and eldest brother and publisher, Fernando Moreira Salles, were heirs to the bank Unibanco, one of the largest and richest in South America.


September 22–24, 2014

The Director

In 2003, Salles was voted one of the 40 Best Directors in the World by The Guardian. His biggest international success has been Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries), a 2004 film about the life of young Ernesto Guevara, who later became known as Che Guevara. It was Salles’s first foray as director of a film in a language other than his native Portuguese (Spanish, in this case) and quickly became a box office hit in Latin America and Europe.

actually started his international career with Central Station (1998). The film's leading actress Fernanda Montenegro won, among others, the Golden and Silver Bear for best movie and best actress at the Berlin Film Festival in 1998. Central Station was also elected as the best non-English movie at the British Academy Awards and the Golden Globes, without mentioning the numerous Latin-American awards that it has also won.

From an international perspective, taking consolidated festivals and events such as Cannes, Berlin or the Oscars as well as the critics and audience responses in Europe and the United Sates as a reference, one may associate the contemporary Brazilian Cinema with Walter Salles.

In 2005, Salles’ film on young Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries, was nominated for the best foreign movie by the Golden Globes and won an Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony for the song Al otro lado del rio by the Uruguayan songwriter Jorge Drexler. The International Movie Database (IMDB) computes a total of 37 awards as well as another 16 nominations.

Although he may be more well-known in the United States for his film The Motorcycle Diaries, he

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My generation in Brazil was influenced by Cinema Novo. So we are echoing what’s been done way in the past. —Walter Salles


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

In 2008, films of Salles had been selected for the official program of the Cannes Film Festival: Line of Passage (Linha de Passe), a collaboration with Daniela Thomas and the story about four brothers from a poor family and their struggle for social rise. One of the brothers is played by Vinicius de

Salles is one of the most influential figures in Brazil and one of the most important Latin film makers of all time. Oliveira, the boy from Central Station, who, in this film, is trying to escape his poorness by becoming a professional soccer player. Sandra Corveloni won the best actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance as his single mother in the Brazilian megalopolis São Paulo. Salles has been also present

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at Cannes through his production firm Videofilmes that co-produced La Leonera by Argentine director Pablo Trapero. It comes therefore as no surprise that Salles appears in lists such as “Most influential figures in Brazil” (Veja magazine) or “Most important Latin film makers” (The Hollywood Reporter). Salles’ next international project, a film based on cult-novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac, produced by Francis Ford Coppola, will probably contribute more so to his worldwide recognition.

Childhood & Education Walter Salles’ background has certainly contributed to his frequent shifts between Brazilian related movies and international productions. He was born in 1956 in Rio de Janeiro, but due to his father’s


September 22–24, 2014

The Director

activities as a banker and diplomat, the family lived in Paris between 1962 and 1969. Back in Rio de Janeiro, Salles studied economics and later obtained his masters degree in Audiovisual Communication at the University of Southern California.

film maker. It was the portrait of the Polish artist Frans Krajcberg (Krajcberg–Poet of the remains). To understand more about the influences of Salles, the main tendencies in Brazilian cinema history is very important to know.

Between 1983 and 1993 he was responsible for hundreds of commercials as well as a series of interviews in the TV program Conexão Internacional on the Brazilian Channel Manchete, which hosted guests like Federico Fellini, Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni. He also filmed cultural studies of Japan and China, reportages on Brazilian artists like Tomie Ohtake and Rubens Gerchman, and documentaries for European TV channels like ARTE, France 3 and the BBC Network. In 1987, Salles made another documentary for television, which would be decisive for his future career as fiction

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Brazilian Cinema Brazilian cinema history began around the same time as in Europe or the U.S. New media such as photography and film arrived in Brazil quite quickly, imported mainly by foreign immigrants. Films with elaborated plots were produced from 1908 onwards, ranging from adaptations of novels such as O Guarani by José de Alencar to police cases like The Stranglers. A more professional film and studio structure, however, was implemented only during the 1930s, within the context of the efforts towards industrialization made by the Vargas government. From the silent

My father was a diplomat for part of his life and I jumped from country to country and culture to culture. So when I was very young, I longed for Brazil. I really wanted to know the heart of it much better than I did. —Walter Salles


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

area still echoes the experimental Limite (1931), a two hour long film-poem by Mário Peixoto. Its newly restored version was screened in 2007 at the Cannes Film Festival and was one of the selected films from the World Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Martin Scorsese and others, among them Walter Salles, to provide financial assistance for the preservation, restoration and broadcasting of films from all over the world, in particular the cinema of Africa, Latin America, Asia and Central Europe. In 1962, O Pagador de Promessas, directed by Anselmo Duarte and known in the English-speaking world as either Keeper of Promises, The Given Word or The Promise, was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first and so far only Brazilian film to achieve such a feat. The cinema novo and mainly

Glauber Rocha’s Black God—White Devil from 1963 with its mélange of elements ranging from the oral literature of northeastern Brazil, westerns, distancing elements borrowed from the theater of Bertolt Brecht, and ancient tragedy as well as the inclusion of historical and mystical figures has ever since stimulated debates among the international cinematic community. The foundation of the state-run agency Embrafilme in 1969, frequently criticized for its dubious selection criteria, bureaucracy, favoritism and bad use of tax-payers money, nevertheless enabled a varied and memorable filmography, including the most seen of all Brazilian films, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976) by Bruno Barreto (based on a book by Jorge Amado with an estimated public audience of 12 million), Cacá Diegues’ Bye Bye Brasil (1979) and Hector Babenco’s Pixote (1981).

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September 22–24, 2014

The Director

In 1990, President Fernando Collor cut the central programs for film sponsorship like Embrafilme and fiscal privileges which led to a disruption of Brazilian film production. In 1991, only one national film came on the market: High Art, directed by Walter Salles based on a novel by Rubem Fonseca. The film achieved a market share in Brazil of less than 1%. Carla Camurati’s film Carlota Joaquina, Princess of Brazil (1995) is regarded as an historical turning point in the revival of the Brazilian film industry, based on new laws of tax deductions for film financing. It was the first Brazilian movie since the 1980s that attracted more than one million viewers to the cinemas. Critics have analyzed this phenomenon initially under the term retomada, the resumption or renaissance of national cinema. In the numerous attempts to come to terms with this phase one may

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cite two basic tendencies: one that sees the films of this period under certain thematic and aesthetic points of views, as for instance in Cinema Novo: Um balanço crítico da Retomada (2003) by Luiz Zanin Oricchio. The author, a journalist and critic from the newspaper Estado de São Paulo, tries to establish a useful taxonomy by dividing thematically the movies in categories like “History and Film” or “Privacy and Publicity”, or “Sertão and Favela”. On the other hand critics like Pedro Butcher, author of Cinema Brasileiro Hoje (2005), have concluded that unlike the new cinema from the 1960s, the retomada films have no common ideological, aesthetical or filmic base, but only share the intention to recapture a slice of the market share and, thereby, reestablish the Brazilian cinema as an economical factor.


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A Walter Salles Film Festival

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September 22–24, 2014

The Director

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—Walter Salles


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

Film Awards

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Foreign Land Silver Daisy Awards, Brazil Silver Daisy Entrevues Film Festival Grand Prix, Foreign Film Golden Rosa Camuna Sテ」o Paulo Association of Art Critics Awsards APCA Trophy, Best Screenplay

Central Station San Sebastiテ。n International Film Festival Audience Award Youth Jury Award Silver Daisy Awards, Brazil Silver Daisy Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2 nd Place LAFCA Award, Best Foreign Film Havana Film Festival Award of the Havana University Glauber Rocha Award, Special Mention Special Jury Prize Berlin Internatoinal Film Festival Golden Berlin Bear Prize of Ecumenical Jury Vancouver International Film Festival 2 nd place, Most Popular Film Satellite Awards Best Motion Picture窶認oreign Language BAFTA Awards BAFTA Film Award, Best Film not in the English Language Sテ」o Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards APCA Trophy, Best Director Spain Film Critics Association Awards Best Foreign Language Film


September 22–24, 2014

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The Director

Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards Silver Condor, Best Foreign Film

Midnight Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Best Director Best Screenplay Ariel Awards, Mexico Silver Ariel, Best Latin-American Film

Behind the Sun Havana Film Festival Best Director House of the Americas Award Silver Daisy Awards, Brazil Silver Daisy Venice Film Festival Little Golden Lion

Soccorro Nobre Biarritz International Festival of A udiovisual Programming Golden FIPA, Document and Essay Award Guns and Peace Carrousel International du Film Camério, Best Short Film

Motorcycle Diaries San Sebastián International Film Festival Audience Award Norwegian International Film Festival Audience Award Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2 nd Place LAFCA Award, Best Foreign Film

Cannes Film Festival François Chalais Award Prize of Ecumenical Jury Hollywood Film Festival Hollywood World Award 2005 Premios ACE Premio ACE, Cinema—Best Director Imagen Foundation Awards Imagen Award, Best Director—Film Directors Guild of Great Britain DGGB Award, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Foreign Language Film BAFTA Awards BAFTA Film Award, Best Film not in English

Linha de Passe Havana Film Festival Prêmio Qualidade, Brazil Prêmio Qualidade, Best Director Prêmio Contigo Cinema, Brazil Jury Award, Best Director Grand Coral, Second Prize São Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards APCA Trophy, Best Film


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A Walter Salles Film Festival

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September 22–24, 2014

The Director

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—Ernesto Guevara


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

A Tough Journey Bringing Kerouac's LIterary masterpiece to the big screen By Thomas Hawker // October 11, 2012

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Brazilian director Walter Salles has carved a niche as the 'go-to' guy for road movies. His adaption of Che Guevara's memoir, The Motorcycle Diaries, won critical acclaim and the affection of audiences. His latest work, a movie version of Jack Kerouac's cult novel On The Road is his biggest challenge yet. Tom Hawker talks to him about the joys and pitfalls of translating such a seminal work of literature to the big screen. Tom Hawker: What attracted you to On The Road? Were you a fan of Kerouac and The Beats? Walter Salles: I read On the Road for the first time when I was 18, entering university in Brazil. It had a deep impact on me. It was one of the most resonant and daring narratives about youth and transition into adulthood that I had ever read.


September 22–24, 2014

The Director

Before launching into Kerouac’s world, The Catcher in the Rye had been the book that had affected me most. But, On the Road felt like a more immediate experience, closer to what I was living or wanted to live at that age.

I was struck by the way sex and drugs were described as a bridge to transcend the limited territory in which society tried to confine those young men and women. I was struck by the way sex and drugs were described as a bridge to transcend the limited territory in which society tried to confine those young men and women. And the idea of movement as a better way to understand where you came from and who you are rang a deep chord. Finally, the writing

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itself was striking: it was as if the typewriter was an extension of Kerouac’s body – like an instrument can be an extension of a jazz player. Years later, Ginsberg said, “We wanted to write and speak in public as we used to do between us.” And this really came across. TW: This is your second adaptation of an iconic and historic road trip (after The Motorcycle Cycle Dairies)? What do you find so interesting about these books? WS: They are somewhat connected. The Motorcycle Diaries was about the first steps of a social and political revolution that would deeply affect the Latin American continent, before spreading outside of its frontiers. On the Road is about the beginning of a cultural revolution. But as John Cassady said to us when he came to speak to the actors before we began production—Sal, Dean and the other characters


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

of On The Road are not aware, as they drift in search of the last American frontier, that this cultural earthquake would happen years later. They are in their early 20s, in the process of experimenting, of investigating different forms of freedom.

The only tip I could give travellers is “travel light”. I never carry luggage that I couldn’t run with or get into an airplane with. The more luggage in life, the l ess free you are. TW: It's such an iconic book—were you aware of the pressure to 'get it right'? WS: Yes, of course—as I was when we started investigating the possibility of making The Motorcycle Diaries. For that film, I did the journey described by the young Ernesto Guevara twice before feeling apt

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When we began On the Road I was fully aware that my passion for the book and Kerouac as a writer were not enough to start the production immediately. This is what triggered the idea to do a documentary about the possibility of making On the Road. We pursued this project for almost four years, retracing the paths described in On the Road, meeting the people who inspired several of the characters in the book, and encountering poets of that unique generation such as Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, and Amiri Baraka. This in-depth process of research allowed us to better understand the social and historical background related to that period, as well as the complexities linked to the adaptation. TW: Casting must have been difficult because every individual reader must have a clear idea of Sal Paradise in their own head?


September 22–24, 2014

The Director

WS: Yes, as I imagine so many people had in regards to The Motorcycle Diaries. This is why we started the casting process for On the Road early on, in 2005 and 2006, and invited actors who were not only very talented, but also who regarded the book with the same passion and understanding with which we did.

This is when Howl was heard for the first time. Kerouac was in the room and he would shout "go, go!" to Ginsberg. So, On the Road is not about the Beat Generation per se, but about the seeds of what would later become the Beat Generation.

TW: How conscious were you of having to avoid the "Beat Generation" clichés? WS: The facts described in On the Road happened from 1947 to late 1950. The official birth of the Beat Generation only happened five years later, when Ginsberg, Michael McClure and other young poets gathered in San Francisco in 1955 to read for a small but passionate public that were anxiously waiting to hear them.

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Similarly, The Motorcycle Diaries was not a film about the Cuban Revolution, it was a film about the discovery and birth of a social and political conscience of two young men as they unveil a continent that was unknown to them. TW: When filming an On the Road movie, do you try and enter the spirit of the Beats? WS: What we tried was to fully understand the motivations of the characters described in the book, as they entered into territories unknown to them at the time, colliding against the very conservative morals of the 40s and early 50s.

As Oliver Sacks wrote recently, we carry the need to rise above our immediate surroundings, the need to be transported, to acquire new meaning and renew our understanding of the world. —Walter Salles


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TW: After On The Road and The Motorcycle Diaries, making a road trip movie—for the uninitiated— sounds like fun? Is it?

WS: When I read the book for the first time, it certainly had this affect. And it reinforced it as I read it again and again.

WS: We covered 60,000 miles to do this film, twice as much as we did for The Motorcycle Diaries. To shoot films like this is, as you can imagine, taxing from both a physical and emotional standpoint. On the other hand, you end up living moments and having encounters that are absolutely unique, and that would never happen while shooting on a sound stage in Los Angeles. As Oliver Sacks wrote recently, we carry the need to rise above our immediate surroundings, the need to be transported, to acquire new meaning and renew our understanding of the world.

TW: Are you a keen traveller?

TW: On The Road inspired many people to travel? Did it inspire you to do so?

WS: Yes, definitely…if the world can be divided into nomads and settlers—I would certainly belong to the first category. TW: Do you have a favourite place to travel to? What's your favourite travelling experience? WS: When I am in Brazil, I like to drift to an area that is two hours away from Rio. It's an archipelago of islands where phone reception is almost non-existent and, therefore, computer access as well. We are invaded by a constant flow of images and information. As an antidote to this, I am favouring, more and more, places where you can live according to a


September 22–24, 2014

The Director

different definition of time. Where you can actually regain control of it, read a book, write, and talk with people you haven’t met before without being interrupted by computer or telephone calls.

This is not the case of North America, where I was struck by the fact that I could drive for 1,000 miles and find the same architecture and fast food chains that I had seen the day before. This is what forced us to go further and further afield to do On the Road.

TW: You've made movies across the planet now— Brazil, Paris, the US, Canada and across Latin America—do you get to experience, explore and enjoy the places you're filming in? And do you have any tips for travellers—a rule you live by when traveling? WS: When we shot The Motorcycle Diaries, I was able to discover places I had never been before on my own continent. It was as if my house became suddenly larger than it was before. It also made me understand that our continent was still a last frontier.

When we shot The Motorcycle Diaries, I was able to discover places I had never been before on my own continent. It was as if my house became suddenly larger than it was before. The only tip I could give travellers is “travel light”. I never carry luggage that I couldn’t run with or get into an airplane with. The more luggage in life, the less free you are.

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—Jack Kerouac


September 22–24, 2014

The Director

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September 22–24, 2014

The Festival

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The Venue

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66 Drive-In Theatre This film festival is all about being free on the open road, so the location of the festival had to reiterate this as well. 66 Drive-In Theatre in Carthage, Missouri was the perfect location. Located just off the famous highway Route 66, this drive-in theatre sets the mood for exploration and travel. Americans took to the road in unprecedented numbers with the lifting of wartime rationing and travel restrictions during the Mother Road’s golden age that began in 1945. Businesses along Route 66 that had endured the lean war years now reaped their reward, while the increase in traffic was so great that it also spawned new businesses to accommodate every need of postwar travelers. Although technically an innovation of the 1930s, the drive-in theater really came of age during the postwar auto and travel boom


September 22–24, 2014

The Festival

of the late 40s and early 50s. Drive-in theaters offered millions of (pre-television) motel guests an opportunity for affordable evening entertainment without having to leave the car or wander too far from the road. Within a matter of 15 years, the number of drive-in theaters nationwide surged from a mere 52 in 1941 to 4,500 by 1956.

The 66 Drive-in offers guests the opportunity an evening of entertainment without having to leave the car or wander too far from the road. The 66 Drive-In in Carthage was part of that postwar wave and today is one of a very few historically intact drive-in theaters still operating along old Route 66. It looks and feels very much as it did when it opened for business in the fading light of September 22,

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1949. A striking feature of the 66 Drive-In is that it still retains its original rural setting on a nine-acre plot about three miles outside of town. Although outdoor theaters were traditionally set down in field and pasture well beyond town, most sites today have since been engulfed by suburban sprawl. Almost all of the 66 Drive-In’s original structural elements still exist and are in operation. The 66-foot high, steel framed screen house continues its original dual role. Its front serves as a support for the movie screen, while its outward sloping back is a huge billboard announcing its original 1949 message: 66 Drive-In Theatre Carthage, MO. Located below the screen is an original playground, a testament to the Baby Boom phenomenon of postwar America. The low, stucco concession stand/projection booth in the center of the theater area and the tiny five by


Chasing Sunrise

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nine foot, waved glass block ticket booth at the southeast entrance still retain their original Art Deco and Streamline Moderne styling, evoking a modern, cutting edge feel. At the entrance, alongside old Route 66, stands the original steel and neon sign. Sometime after 1953, a wider model covered the original movie screen to accommodate the new type of Cinemascope craze. Visitors today will note the forest of speakerless speaker poles—surviving theaters have long since canned the original squawk boxes for radio frequency sound. A new support building on the eastern edge of the property is an addition that was added at the time of the 66 Drive-In renovation in the 1990s. The theater ran from 1949 to 1985. After a period of decline following the decommissioning of Route 66 and a nationwide fall in drive-in theater attendance, the 66 Drive-In was renovated and

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reopened on April 18, 1998. The theater was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The 66 Drive-In Theatre is the perfect location. From the scenic roads to the historical roots, this theatre epitimizes the ideals of a Walter Salles film festival.


September 22–24, 2014

The Festival

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A Walter Salles Film Festival

The Schedule

Sunday, September 22

12Pm Opening Party A discussion panel with the Director and the cast from Motorcycle Diaries. Meet and greetfans from all over the world.

2pm Vintage Car Show Over 400 classic vehicles will travel on Route 66 to display their historic cars just for the Walter Salles film festival.

7pm Beer and Cocktails Enjoy a drink or three while viewing the beautiful display of classic cars.

8pm On the Road An adaptation of the 1957 novel of the same name by Jack Kerouac.


September 22–24, 2014

The Festival

Monday, September 23 12pm Tour Route 66 Missouri The “Show Me State” of Missouri not only has some of the most scenic views of the Mother Road, it also has dozens of vintage icons along the old highway. 6pm

Behind the Sun Its original Portuguese title means Shattered April, and it is about the code of honor during 1910 in Brazil.

8pm Foreign Land After the death of his mother, a young Brazilian decides to leave his country and travel to her native land. 10pm Central Station It tells the story of a young boy’s friendship with a jaded middle-aged woman.

Tuesday, September 24 5 pm 10th Anniversary Party Celebrate the anniversary of the release of The Motorcycle Diaries during a cocktail party. 6pm

The Motorcycle Diaries A journey of the 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara, who would later become known as the revolutionary Che Guevara.

9pm Closing Celebration

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September 22–24, 2014

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The Festival

Where to Stay

Econo Lodge 1441 W. Central, Carthage, MO econolodge.com // 415.358.3900

Boots Motel 107 S Garrison Ave, Carthage, MO bootsmotel.homestead.com // 417.310.2989

Best Western Precious Moments Hotel 2701 Hazel St, Carthage, MO book.bestwestern.com // 417.359.5900

Carthage Inn 2244 S Grand Ave, Carthage, MO carthageinn.com // 417.258.2499

Super 8 Carthage 416 W Fir Rd, Carthage, MO super8.com // 417.359.9000


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September 22–24, 2014

The Films

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September 22–24, 2014

The Films

Road to Discovery Choosing The Films for the Walter Salles Festival

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The Featured Films has their differences and commonalities. Choosing the righ set of films was very important to this film festival. Each film deals with hitting the road and finding a sense of enlightenment along the way. Salles' films express that something that almost everyone in the world hopes to achieve—the hopes of understanding the life they live. The differences between these films are the stories that they tell and how they each follow a different path towards self-discovery. This film festival should inspire viewers to pack up their bags and go on a journey.


Chasing Sunrise

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On the Road STARRING Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty Sam Riley as Sal Paradise Kristen Stewart as Marylou Amy Adams as Jane Tom Sturridge as Carlo Marx Kirsten Dunst as Camille Viggo Mortensen as Old Bull Lee Steve Buscemi as Tall Thin Salesman Terrence Howard as Walter

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On the Road is an adaptation of the 1957 novel of the same name by Jack Kerouac. The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, Alice Braga, Elisabeth Moss, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen. It was executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Filming began on August 4, 2010, in Montreal, Quebec, with a $25 million budget. The story is based on the years Kerouac spent travelling the United States in the late 1940s with his friend Neal Cassady and several other figures who would go on to fame in their own right, including William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. A film adaptation of On the Road had been in the works for years. In 1957, Jack Kerouac wrote a onepage letter to actor Marlon Brando, suggesting that he play Dean Moriarty while Kerouac would portray


September 22–24, 2014

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The Films

Sal Paradise. In the letter, Kerouac envisioned the film to be shot “with the camera on the front seat of the car showing the road (day and night) unwinding into the windshield, as Sal and Dean yak.” Brando never responded to the letter, and later on Warner Brothers offered $110,000 for the rights to Kerouac’s book but his agent, Sterling Lord, declined it. Lord hoped for $150,000 from Paramount Pictures, which wanted to cast Brando in the film. The deal did not occur and Kerouac was angered that his agent asked for too much money. Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola bought the rights in 1979. Over the years, he hired several screenwriters to adapt the book into a film, including Michael Herr and Barry Gifford, only for Coppola to write his own draft with son Roman. Coppola saw The Motorcycle Diaries and hired Brazilian director Walter Salles

to direct the film. Salles was drawn to the novel because, according to him, it is about people "trying to break into a society that’s impermeable" and that he wants "to deal with a generation that collides with its society." In preparation for the film, he made the documentary Searching for On the Road, in which he took the same road trip as the lead character in the novel, Sal Paradise, and talked to Beat poets who knew Kerouac.He did this in order to understand "the complexity of the jazz-infused prose and the sociopolitical climate that informed the period."

I know that there's no gold at the end of the rainbow. There's just shit and piss. But to know that, that makes me free. —Carlo Marx, On the Road


Chasing Sunrise

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The purity of the road, the white line in the middle of the highway unrolled that hugged our left front tires as if glued to our groove. —Sal Paradise, On the Road

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September 22–24, 2014

The Films

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Foreign Land Starring Fernanda Torres as Alex Fernando Alves Pinto as Paco Alexandre Borges as Miguel TchĂŠky Karyo as Kraft JoĂŁo Lagarto as Pedro

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This beautifully photographed black and white Brazilian mystery, Foreign Land (Original Portuguese title: Terra Estrangeira) chronicles the union between Paco, an aspiring actor living in Sao Paulo, and Brazil born Alex, who works as a waitress in Lisbon, Portugal. Much of the tale is set in 1990 when Brazilian president Fernando Collor de Mello threw his country into an economic tailspin by suddenly confiscating the savings accounts of the entire population. At this time, Paco is living with his elderly mother in a poor Sao Paulo neighborhood. Tired of living in squalor, the mother dreams of returning to her native Spain. When she learns that her savings have been seized, the shocked old woman drops dead. Now without his mother, Paco feels little desire to stay in Brazil and so meets with the sleazy Igor, an antique dealer, and agrees to smuggle a violin stuffed with raw


September 22–24, 2014

The Films

diamonds to Lisbon. Paco is to take the fiddle to a certain hotel where he will be paid by the contact. Unfortunately, he arrives, but the contact doesn't. This incident leads him down a twisted road filled with murder, danger and intrigue that eventually ends in the arms of Alex. In many films, this would be the end of the story, but not for Alex and Paco, for they cannot relax and enjoy their relationship unless they can somehow escape the murderous thugs.

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Chasing Sunrise

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Motorcycle Diaries Starring Gael García Bernal as Ernesto Guevara Rodrigo de la Serna as Alberto Granado Alberto Granado as Himself

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The Motorcycle Diaries (Spanish: Diarios de Motocicleta) is a 2004 biopic about the journey and written memoir of the 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara, who would several years later become internationally known as the iconic Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. The film recounts the 1952 expedition, initially by motorcycle, across South America by Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado. To their surprise, the road presents to them both a genuine and captivating picture of Latin American identity. As a result, the trip also plants the initial seed of cognitive dissonance and radicalization within Guevara, who ostensibly would later view armed revolution as a way to challenge the continent’s economic inequalities. To prepare for the role of the young Che Guevara, Gael García Bernal went through six months of intense preparation. This groundwork of prep included


September 22–24, 2014

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reading “every biography” about Guevara, traveling to Cuba to speak with Guevara’s family, and consulting with Guevara’s then still living travel partner Alberto Granado. Despite being in his eighties, Granado was also taken on as an adviser by Salles, and enthusiastically followed the film crew as they retraced the journey.

Guevara “decided to live on the side of the mistreated, to live on the side of the people who have no justice—and no voice.” Moreover, Bernal (who is Mexican) adopted an Argentine accent and spent 14 weeks reading the works of José Martí, Karl Marx and Pablo Neruda (Guevara’s favorite poet). Bernal told reporters “I feel a lot of responsibility. I want to do it well because of

what Che represents to the world. He is a romantic. He had a political consciousness that changed Latin America.” As Bernal experienced locales in Chile, Peru and Bolivia; with social conditions unchanged or worsened since Guevara passed through a half of a century before, he took to heart Guevara’s internationalist assertion in a “fiction of nations.” According to Bernal, the role crystallized his “own sense of duty” because Guevara “decided to live on the side of the mistreated, to live on the side of the people who have no justice - and no voice.” In surmising the similarities between his own personal transformation and Guevara’s, Bernal pos≠its that “my generation is awakening, and we’re discovering a world full of incredible injustice.”

The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view. —Ernesto Guevara, Motorcycle Diaries


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

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September 22–24, 2014

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The Films

Just like Don Quixote had Rocihante, San Martín had his mule, we have the mighty one. —Alberto Granado, The Motorcycle Diaries


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

Behind The Sun Starring Vinícius de Oliveira as "the Kid" José Dumont as the father Rodrigo Santoro as Tonho Rita Assemany as the Mother Ravi Ramos Lacerda as Pacu Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos as Salustiano Flávia Marco Antonio as Clara Everaldo Pontes as Old Blind Man

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Behind the Sun (Portuguese title: Abril Despedaçado) is a 2001 Brazilian film directed by Walter Salles, produced by Arthur Cohn, and starring Rodrigo Santoro. Its original Portuguese title means Shattered April, and it is based on the novel of the same name (original Albanian title: Prill i Thyer) written by the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, about the honor culture in the North of Albania. The year is 1910; the place, the badlands of Northeast Brazil. Twenty-year-old Tonho is the middle son of an impoverished farm family, the Breves. He is next in line to kill and then die in an ongoing blood feud with a neighboring clan, the Ferreiras. For generations, the two families have quarreled over land. Now they are locked into a series of tit-for-tat assassinations of their sons; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Embedded in this choreography of death is a


September 22–24, 2014

The Films

particular code of ethics: “Blood has the same volume for everyone. You have no right to take more blood than was taken from you.” Life is suffused with a sense of futility and stoic despair. Tonho must make a decision to continue this family feud, or finally put an end to it.

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Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

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September 22–24, 2014

The Films

Central Station Starring Fernanda Montenegro as Dora Vinícius de Oliveira as Josué Marília Pêra as Irene Soia Lira as Ana Othon Bastos as César Otávio Augusto as Pedrão Stela Freitas as Yolanda Matheus Nachtergaele as Isaías Caio Junqueira as Moisés

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Central Station (Portuguese: Central do Brasil) is a 1998 Brazilian-French drama film set in Brazil. It tells the story of a young boy's friendship with a jaded middle-aged woman. The film was adapted by Marcos Bernstein and João Emanuel Carneiro from a story by Walter Salles and it was directed by the latter. It features Fernanda Montenegro and Vinícius de Oliveira in the major roles. The film's title in Portuguese, Central do Brasil, is the name of Rio de Janeiro's main railway station. The film premiered at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival. Dora (Fernanda Montenegro) is a cynical and selfish former schoolteacher who earns a living writing letters for the illiterate in Rio de Janeiro's busy railroad station. Viewing most of her clients as "trash," she never even mails their missives.


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Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

Nine-year-old Josue (Vinicius de Oliveira) comes to the station with his mother, who has Dora write a letter to his father in a faraway town. Then his mother is struck and killed by a bus. With nowhere to go, Josue (Vinicius de Oliveira) sleeps in the station. Dora reluctantly takes him to her cramped apartment where he finds the letter with his father's address. But the next day, she sells him to some people who claim to be in the adoption business. She buys a new television with the money from the transaction. Her friend Irene is horrified at her callousness. The boy, she warns, is in real danger of being killed for his organ parts. Dora decides to rescue him and return him to his father. The two get on a bus and flee the city.

suffering. Central Station depicts the slow opening of Dora's heart as she and Josue travel across Brazil. After she tries to abandon him once, and he loses all the money she gave him, they are picked up by a friendly fundamentalist Christian truck driver. Dora welcomes this respite from her loneliness, but he rushes off once he realizes she is interested in him physically.

All the world's religions celebrate compassion as the quivering of the human heart in response to

The joy that compassion brings is one of the best kept secrets of humanity. The miraculous hatching of Dora's heart occurs when they end up in the middle of a rural religious pilgrimage. Once again, the old woman becomes a letter writer, but now she approaches it differently. Perhaps for the first time in her life, she senses her

Since I've been on the road I feel like I've changed my life ten times over again. —Dora, Central Station


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The Films

kinship with other people and their mutual yearning for love and connection. Further experiences with the boy awaken within her a tenderness for life. She is transformed by the end of the journey. Catholic writer Henri J. M. Nouwen once wrote, "The joy that compassion brings is one of the best kept secrets of humanity." This extraordinary film publishes that secret, and we receive it with tears and glad tidings.

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Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

Story of Young Che The Motorcycle Diaries By Roger Ebert // October 1, 2004

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Focus Features presents a film directed by Walter Salles. Written by Jose Rivera. Based on books by Che Guevara and Alberto Granados. The Motorcycle Diaries tells the story of an 8,000 mile trip by motorcycle, raft, truck and foot, from Argentina to Peru, undertaken in 1952 by Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and his friend Alberto Granado. If Ernesto had not later become "Che" Guevara and inspired countless T-shirts, there would be no reason to tell this story, which is interesting in the manner of a travelogue but simplistic as a study of Che's political conversion. It belongs to the dead-end literary genre in which youthful adventures are described, and then "...that young man grew up to be (Benjamin Franklin, Einstein, Rod Stewart, etc)." Che Guevara makes a convenient folk hero for those who have not looked very closely into his actual


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The Films

philosophy, which was repressive and authoritarian. Like his friend Fidel Castro, he was a right-winger disguised as a communist. He said he loved the people but he did not love their freedom of speech, their freedom to dissent, or their civil liberties. But all of that is far in the future as Ernesto and Alberto mount their battered old 1939 motorcycle and roar off for a trip around a continent they'll be seeing for the first time. Guevara is a medical student with one year still to go, and Alberto is a biochemist. From the alarming number of times their motorcycle turns over, skids out from under them, careens into a ditch or (in one case) broadsides a cow, it would appear neither has ever been on a motorcycle, either. First stop, the farm of Ernesto's girlfriend, whose rich father disapproves of him. Chichina (Mia Maestro) herself loves him, up to a point: "Do you expect me

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to wait for you? Don't take forever." Shy around girls and not much of a dancer, Ernesto is unable to say whether he does or not. The film, directed by Walter Salles ("Central Station"), follows them past transcendent scenery; we see forests, plains, high chaparral, deserts, lakes, rivers, mountains, spectacular vistas. And along the way the two travelers depend on the kindness of strangers; they're basically broke, and while Ernesto believes in being honest with people, Alberto gets better results by conning them. They do meet some good new friends: A doctor in Lima, for example, who gets them an invitation to stay at a leper colony. The staff at the colony, and the lepers. A farmer and his wife, who they meet on the road, and who were forced off their land by evil capitalists. Day laborers and their sadistic foreman. A garage


Chasing Sunrise

A Walter Salles Film Festival

owner's lonely wife. To get to the leper colony, they take a steamer down a vast lake. Guevara stands in the stern and looks down at a shabby smaller boat that the steamer is towing: This is the boat carrying the poor people, who have no decks, deck-chairs, dining rooms, orchestras and staterooms, but must hang their hammocks where they can.

by the sweet and engaging Gael Garcia Bernal (from "Y Tu Mama Tambien"). Pity how he turned out.

By the end of the journey, Ernesto has undergone a conversion. "I think of things in different ways," he tells his friend. "Something has changed in me." The final titles say he would go on to join Castro in the Cuban Revolution, and then fight for his cause in the Congo and Bolivia, where he died. His legend lives on, celebrated largely, I am afraid, by people on the left who have sentimentalized him without looking too closely at his beliefs and methods. He is an awfully nice man in the movie, especially as played

But seen simply as a film, "The Motorcycle Diaries" is attenuated and tedious. We understand that Ernesto and Alberto are friends, but that's about all we find out about them; they develop none of the complexities of other on-the-road couples, like Thelma and Louise, Bonnie and Clyde or Huck and Jim. There isn't much chemistry. For two radical intellectuals with exciting futures ahead of them, they have limited conversational ability, and everything they say is generated by the plot, the conventions of the situation, or standard pieties and impieties. Nothing is startling or poetic. Part of the problem may be that the movie takes place before Ernesto became Che, and Alberto (played by Rodrigo de la Serna) became a doctor who

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September 22–24, 2014

The Films

opened a medical school and clinic in Cuba (where he still lives). They are still two young students, middle class, even naive, and although their journey changes them, it ends before the changes take hold. (Note: To be fair, I must report that a Spanish-speaking friend tells me the spoken dialogue is much richer than the English subtitles.) Salles uses an interesting device to suggest how their experiences might have been burned into their consciousness so that lessons could be learned. He has poor workers, farmers, miners, peasants, beggars, who pose for the camera, not in still photos, but standing as still as they can, and he uses black and white for these tableaux, so that we understand they represent memory. It's an effective technique, and we are meant to draw the conclusion that the adult Che would help these people.

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As a child I faithfully read all of the titles in a book series named Childhoods of Famous Americans. George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, Benjamin Franklin got a job at a print shop, Luther Burbank looked at a peanut and got thoughtful. The books always ended without really dealing with the adults those children became. But, yes, in retrospect, we can see how crucial the cherry tree, print shop, peanut and Che's motorcycle were, because Those Young Men Grew Up, etc. It's a convenient formula, because it saves you the trouble of dealing with who they became.


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—Jack Kerouac


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The Films

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Chasing Sunrise

Copyright Š 2013 Ashley Ng All rights reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission. Typefaces: Serifa, Vitesse, and Berthold Akzidenz Grotesque Designed and Printed by: Ashley Ng Cover and Binding by: Ashley Ng Paper: Red River 50lb. Premium Matte Double-Sided

A Walter Salles Film Festival

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Chasing Sunrise  

A Walter Salles Film Festival

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