Last night Allison and I watched the visual masterpiece Into the Wild. The movie is an adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s novel of the same name. The movie was directed by Sean Penn and starred Emile Hirsch as Chris McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp.
If you are unfamiliar with the story of Chris McCandless then let me bring you up to speed. After college Chris gave away his life savings to OxFam, drove his Datsun across the country, left his life and everyone he know behind and struck out for Alaska. When his car finally died in a flash flood Chris burned what was left of his money and set out on foot for the Alaskan Wilderness.
Along the way he discovered more about himself than many people do in an entire lifetime. He touched many people with his genuineness and love of life. He befriends a hippy couple, a farm manager, an old veteran and a young singer. It took him two years to get to Alaska where ultimately he would die alone in the wilderness.
Krakauer’s book is a collection of Chris’ writings, eyewitness accounts from the people he met and information from Chris’ parents and sister. I read the book back a couple of years ago and one of our favorite folk singers, Ellis Paul has a song called the Ballad of Chris McCandless. The book was decent but I actually liked the movie more. Penn did an amazing job directing this movie and it was visually stunning with all the different locations.
Emile Hirsch (who is now playing Speed Racer) was exceptional, his portrayal of McCandless was incredible and really made the movie for me. I really enjoyed the entire thing and didn’t realize it was so long until it was over. While taking off and living in the wild is not something I would do the spirit this kid had was infectious and his spark burned so brightly that it was quickly consumed, but not before his spirit touched each of those people he met along the way.
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