Into the Wild: A Sean Penn Film about Chris McCandless (based on Krakauer's Book)

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Chris McCandless - Into the WildWatched Into the Wild last night. Read the book last year. Tho I missed the film when it hit theaters last autumn. Had to wait for the DVD release.

I was impressed. Much better than I expected. (And I expected much.) Obviously a labor of love for Sean Penn, who directed and also wrote the screenplay. Easily one of my top-10 films of all-time.

Most noticeable were the film's artistic touches. I must've said, "Wow, look at that shot!" a dozen times. (Composition.)

The (true) story provokes much discussion, and evokes different feelings in different people.

To me, it's about rejecting the damage caused by people who are supposed to love us (more than anybody else), and care for us, even when we can't care for ourselves (parents)...

.. by rejecting their values, especially those they hold most dear .. which, (in the case of Chris McCandless) were » money and "things".

The trailer contains a restaurant-scene where Chris' dad offers to buy him a new car .. following his graduation from college (with honors) .. to which he replies, "Why would I want a new car? The Datsun runs fine .. I don't want *things,* dad."

••• today's entry continues below •••

Some parents (I'm sure you know) substitute material "things" for what kids *really* want & need » love, affection, attention, understanding, patience, acceptance, quality-time together, a harmonious home, and to feel like their wants matter. We've all been kids. (We know the drill.)

I'm not sure why, but this (substitution) seems to be a common practice with parents who have trouble expressing love, or showing affection. (At least, where I grew up.)

Along these lines, the movie is also about freedom: freedom from the pain this damage brings. In the end, we all do what we must in order to survive. And in the case of young Chris McCandless, here is where nature came in.

The film begins with a beautiful poem from Lord Byron (1788-1824). The perfect opening:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore.
There is a society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more.

So I'm feeling a little loopy today .. from thinking about all the things this story stimulates. Will definitely have to watch it again. One line jumped out at me .. one that (surprisingly) doesn't even deal with the film's core themes. See here »

Instincts that seem to sense the threat of a loss so huge and irrevocable that the mind balks at taking its measure.

These words come in the form of a voice-over, narrated by McCandless's sister. She was talking about her parents .. after they hadn't heard from from Chris for several months. The gentle way in which the concept was presented stuck me in such a way that I grabbed the remote, backed it up and played it over (several times).

I know those instincts. They are never far. I didn't always know them. And now that I do, I'm a very different person .. (for better or worse).

I wrote a much longer entry on this story back when the film was first announced (prior to its release) .. see here » What Drove McCandless "Into the Wild"? » A Film by Sean Penn, based on the book by Jon Krakauer.

Reviews here. For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » into the wild sean penn film movie

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on March 20, 2008 10:31 PM.

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