Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Into the Wild

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."
- Henry David Thoreau

Tonight I saw a great movie. I saw Into the Wild with some friends in Vancouver. The movie tells the story of a young man, Christopher McCandless, who becomes disgusted with society, gives his life's savings to charity and then hitchhikes his way acrossed America, ending up in the wilderness of Alaska, where he dies. There is some controversy about McCandless' actual decision to go out into the wilderness in Alaska without a map (some call it a suicide) but I thought the movie itself was beautifully made and I found the philosophical side of the plot quite inspiring. I resonated with McCandless' disgust at so much of what goes on in our decadent and short-sighted society. Plots like this always make me think of Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress who desires to flee from the wrath to come.

I liked the characters whom McCandless met as he traveled the country almost as much as I liked McCandless. He meets and befriends a unique group of people in his travels ranging from a hippie couple to a wheat-farmer to an older Catholic man living near the Salton Sea in Southern California.

Along with the characters and the plot, I really enjoyed two other aspects of the film, the cinematography and the soundtrack. Eddie Vedder provided much of the soundtrack and being a Pearl Jam fan I enjoyed it. Much of the film takes place in the west and, of course, Alaska, with beautiful views of the Grand Canyon and the Alaskan wilderness.

* * *

Oh it's a mystery to me.
We have a greed, with which we have agreed...
and you think you have to want more than you need...
until you have it all, you won't be free.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.

When you want more than you have, you think you need...
and when you think more then you want, your thoughts begin to bleed.
I think I need to find a bigger place...
cause when you have more than you think, you need more space.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
Society, crazy indeed...
I hope you're not lonely, without me.

There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more,
but if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops.
Kinda like you're startin' from the top...
and you can't do that.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
Society, crazy indeed...
I hope you're not lonely, without me
Society, have mercy on me.
I hope you're not angry, if I disagree.
Society, crazy indeed.
I hope you're not lonely...
without me.

- "Society" by Jerry Hannan, performed by Eddie Vedder in the soundtrack of Into the Wild.

1 comment:

David said...

Matt, I just saw the movie coming back from Spain and loved it. I thought that ending sequence was particularly interesting and honestly quite accurate. I think I might watch it again with a notebook and think some more to see what I can learn. Hope everything is going well, Dave