Into The Wild Film
“I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!”
— Chris McCandless’ journal from Alaska
The other day I happened to come across this movie called Into The Wild. I had no idea what it was about or that it was based on a “true” story. I started watching it and there seemed to be a lot of problems for this kid, Chris McCandless growing up, the movie portrays his parents as not so nice people and because of this, he was propelled to give up his identity, his money and hike off across the country to find some inner truth. Two things struck me about this movie as I watched it. First, either this kid was out of his tree crazy, or he was brilliant and had a large supply of courage. Into the WildTravel Biographies & Memoirs)
Secondly, was the soundtrack which was performed mostly by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam fame, and I have to say, it is outstanding. Made me remember that I really loved Pearl Jam and the music, well listen for yourself, I will put the videos at the end of this.
For those of you who don’t know the story here is a brief account:
Chris McCandless Story
Into the Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp, who chose a life on the road in the early 1990s after graduating from Emory University. He hitchhiked, hopped freight trains and backpacked throughout the American West before hitchhiking to Alaska in summer of 1992. It was there in the Alaskan bush near Denali National Park that Chris McCandless died in an abandoned bus, having lived off the land before a series of tragic events caused his death by starvation.
Chris’ story was told by Jon Krakauer in the bestselling book,Into the Wild, originally published in 1997 in response to the popularity of Krakauer’s article on McCandless in Outside magazine. The book was adapted for the screen by Sean Penn, who also directed. Actor Emile Hirsch plays Christopher McCandless. The film also stars:
Marcia Gay Harden (Billie McCandless), William Hurt (Walt McCandless), Jena Malone (Carine McCandless), Vince Vaughn (Wayne Westerberg), Catherine Keener (Jan Burres), Hal Holbrook (Ron Franz), Kristen Stewart (Tracy).
Now I warn you that Chris McCandless is a lightning rod for people to complain about. You don’t have to look very far online to find people that claim you shouldn’t romanticize and make McCandless a heroic figure, because it is making a hero out of a crazy person or a fool. Their words not mine. There is much worse out there, claiming he could have hiked ten miles in the opposite direction to find safety, or a few miles up or down stream to get across the river and save himself. There are also many accounts that McCandless had a reputation for doing foolish things his entire life and almost killed himself numerous times. I do not know if any of this stuff is true or not, but I do know that the story is inspirational as told by Sean Penn and it’s hard to watch it without it affecting you. I mean, how many people live their entire life and never take a chance on anything? Ever? The story ends with McCandless’ death but the idea lives on, that life is to be lived and not survived. It made me wonder if I had ever done anything even remotely heroic, ever in my life. I recommend you watch it and judge for yourself.
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greather joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
Chris McCandless quote
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods:
There is a rapture on the lonely shore:
There is society, where non intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in it’s roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more…….” Lord Byron
Watch the videos below you’ll be glad you did.
Two years he walks the earth.
No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, ’cause “the West is the best.” And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.
— Alexander Supertramp
Probably the best: Rise
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
— Chris McCandless
“The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.”
— Chris McCandless
“Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth.”
“Greetings from Fairbanks!
This is the last you shall hear from me Wayne. Arrived here 2 days ago. It was very difficult to catch rides in the Yukon Territory. But I finally got here. Please return all mail I receive to the sender.
It might be a very long time before I return South. If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again, I want you to know your a great man. I now walk into the wild. Might be a very long time before I return South…
I now walk into the wild.”
— Chris McCandless, in postcard sent to Wayne Westerberg in Carthage, South Dakota, from Alaska
“…henceforth will learn to accept my errors, however great they be…”
— Chris McCandless’ journal from Alaska, written weeks before he died
“I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!” — Chris McCandless’ journal from Alaska
“It should not be denied… that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led West.”
— Wallace Stegner
“I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it— she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do.”
— Sharon Olds, May 1937
(In the movie, Chris reads this to his sister, Carine, outside the restaurant)