Into The Wild(2007)
Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical adventure drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Sean Penn. It is an adaptation of the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name written by Jon Krakauer and tells the story of Christopher McCandless ("Alexander Supertramp"), a man who hiked across North America into the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s. The film stars Emile Hirsch as McCandless, Marcia Gay Harden as his mother, William Hurt as his father, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Brian H. Dierker, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, and Hal Holbrook.
Into the Wild(2007)
McCandless kayaks down the Colorado River and, though told by park rangers he may not do so without a license, ignores their warnings and goes downriver to Mexico. His kayak is lost in a dust storm, and he crosses back into the United States on foot. Unable to hitch a ride, he jumps on freight trains to Los Angeles. Not long after arriving, however, he starts feeling "corrupted" by modern civilization and leaves. He is forced to resume hitchhiking when railroad police catch and beat him.
In a desperate act, McCandless gathers and eats roots and plants. He confuses similar plants and eats a poisonous one, falling sick as a result. Slowly dying, he continues to document his process of self-realization, and imagines what it might have been like if he had managed to return to his family. He writes a farewell note to the world and crawls into his sleeping bag to die.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 83% of 200 reviews of the film were positive, with an average rating of 7.50/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "With his sturdy cast and confident direction, Sean Penn has turned a complex work of nonfiction like Into the Wild into an accessible and poignant character study." Metacritic assigned the film an average score of 73 out of 100 based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, which I read with a fascinated dread, tells the story of a 20-year-old college graduate who cashes in his law school fund and, in the words of Mark Twain, lights out for the territory. He drives west until he can drive no farther, and then north into the Alaskan wilderness. He has a handful of books about survival and edible wild plants, and his model seems to be Jack London, although he should have devoted more attention to that author's "To Build a Fire."
And then McCandless disappears from the maps of memory, into unforgiving Alaska. Yes, it looks beautiful. It is all he dreamed of. He finds an abandoned bus where no bus should be and makes it his home. He tries hunting, not very successfully. He lives off the land, but the land is a zero-tolerance system. From his journals and other evidence, Penn reconstructs his final weeks. Emile Hirsch plays him in a hypnotic performance, turning skeletal, his eyes sinking into his skull while they still burn with zeal. It is great acting, and more than acting.
This is a reflective, regretful, serious film about a young man swept away by his uncompromising choices. Two of the more truthful statements in recent culture are that we need a little help from our friends, and that sometimes we must depend on the kindness of strangers. If you don't know those two things and accept them, you will end up eventually in a bus of one kind or another. Sean Penn himself fiercely idealistic, uncompromising, a little less angry now, must have read the book and reflected that there, but for the grace of God, went he. The movie is so good partly because it means so much, I think, to its writer-director. It is a testament like the words that Christopher carved into planks in the wilderness.
I grew up in Urbana three houses down from the Sanderson family -- Milton and Virginia and their boys Steve and Joe. My close friend was Joe. His bedroom was filled with aquariums, terrariums, snakes, hamsters, spiders, and butterfly and beetle collections. I envied him like crazy. After college he hit the road. He never made a break from his parents, but they rarely knew where he was. Sometimes he came home and his mother would have to sew $100 bills into the seams of his blue jeans. He disappeared in Nicaragua. His body was later identified as a dead Sandinista freedom fighter. From a nice little house surrounded by evergreens at the other end of Washington Street, he left to look for something he needed to find. I believe in Sean Penn's Christopher McCandless. I grew up with him.
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25, 000 in savings to charity and abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter
Based on the novel of the same name, Into the Wild tells the true story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) who after graduating college decides to get rid of his life savings, burn the money in his wallet, and travel the country. Adopting the name \"Alexander Supertramp\", his journey takes him all the way to Mexico, and then finally to the Alaskan wilderness. Along the way, he meets an assortment of different characters, all of whom have some profound impact on his philosophy on life, before he finally makes it - alone - to Alaska, where he struggles to survive.Directed by Sean Penn, the film has a very laid back energy to it. Told in a quasi non-linear narrative, the film starts with Christopher arriving in Alaska, but as his experience in the frigid wilderness progresses, we flashback to the start of his journey, from his graduating college, and so on. There are some interesting segments, such as his journey down the Colorado River, then his illegal entry back into the USA from Mexico, his experience with Mr. Franz (Hal Holbrook), and his first Alaskan moose hunt. The wide-eyed idealism starts to drag after a while, though, and soon it becomes very clear (especially when he reaches Alaska) that Christopher is a misguided youth who thinks that he can learn everything he needs to know about surviving in the wilderness from books and talking to people. His inability to hunt effectively dooms him from the start, and it\'s one thing to accidentally eat the wrong plant and get fatally ill - it\'s another thing altogether when you don\'t bring a map because you figure you can find your way out if you needed to.The music is composed by Michael Brook with Kaki King and Eddie Veder of Pearl Jam. Veder\'s songs stand out, and the way they work in the film acts as a secondary narrative. It\'s acoustically heavy, and well worth picking up the soundtrack for. The film is very well shot, with the outdoors locations looking both beautiful and daunting. It\'s a never boring, and always interesting film that is more about the human condition than anything else - but in the end, it\'s about a kid who thought he could survive in nature unprepared, and he paid the ultimate price for that arrogance. Is it worth seeing? Yes, definitely. But as hard as the film tries to make you, don\'t feel sorry for Christopher McCandless - feel sorry for his friends and family, and the ones he left behind.
Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) has rebranded himself Alexander Supertramp. Graduating from Emory with honors, he has decided to wander the United States and explore a free world that he has never known. Chris dreams of going to Alaska to explore the unknown and get in touch with himself in the isolation of the Alaskan wilderness. As McCandless touches people he meets on his trip, the wilderness that McCandless discovers could be a fatal depth into understanding what drives him.
The bus shown in the film where Chris makes his camp in Alaska, and eventually dies, remained there until it was airlifted from the site in June 2020 by a USAF Chinook helicopter - its whereabouts and fate are unknown. Travelers from all over the world had trekked there and in notebooks left inside the bus, recorded where they were from, their trips there and their feelings on Chris and his life, but in the process dozens of people got into difficulties in the rugged terrain around the bus, and at least two died.
The story Penn has made from Krakauer's book is sometimes absorbing and occasionally quite touching. And Penn is perceptive enough to see that the act of "finding oneself" isn't necessarily just a groovy, harmless quest; it can also be a profoundly manipulative act, a way of cutting deeply into the people who love you most. But it takes Penn too long to tease the really interesting (and somewhat dark) observations out of McCandless' story. Much of "Into the Wild" celebrates nature in a way that isn't far off from the pat reverence of old Sunday-evening nature shows: We get shots of snow-dotted Alaskan vistas, of majestic, cracked desert landscapes. (The cinematographer is Eric Gautier, who has frequently collaborated with French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, on pictures like "Clean" and "Irma Vep.") At one point Chris raises his gun to shoot some sort of gargantuan Alaskan furball, only to lower it respectfully, solemnly, when he realizes the creature is grazing with her baby -- which is only right, but the moment is staged in a way that feels straight out of Awe of Nature 101. There are many self-serious voice-overs; there's much quoting of Thoreau. On the soundtrack Eddie Vedder trills, with alarming sincerity, about the wonders of nature and of self-discovery. Too much of "Into the Wild" is reminiscent of, as Alice Cooper once put it, those songs about how good water tastes.
Maybe I just never recovered from watching Hirsch bite the head off a live chicken -- simulated, but still -- in a small, little-seen indie called "The Mudge Boy." It's the kind of thing that often gets lauded as a brave performance, but Hirsch is so opaque that he didn't make me understand why even a deeply troubled kid would off his beloved pet chicken in that way. In "Into the Wild," Hirsch is even more remote than the wilderness he treks into, which may be precisely the point: Chris was lost even before he was lost. But if nature -- if life -- is as wild and precious as the movie makes it out to be, Hirsch needs to give us something, someone, to watch on-screen. We need to feel a presence before we can take the measure of an absence. 041b061a72